Fans and followers of American celebrities such as Beyonce, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber may be familiar with their million-dollar investments in Silicon Valley startups. Across the pond, however, popular British celebrities have also proven themselves to be formidable tech investors.
Here are 11 UK celebrities who also happen to be successful tech entrepreneurs, channeling their successes in the entertainment industry into new digital-based products and services.
11. Simon Cowell
Music industry mogul Simon Cowell launched The F Factor in 2015—a program similar to the popular talent competition The X Factor, but instead involving tech startups. The cash prize of £10,000 was awarded to the creators of the Gyroglove—an invention that uses gyroscope technology to stabilize the movement of the hand, aiding medical patients with Parkinson’s disease and related hand tremors.
10. Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond
Former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May cofounded the digital platform DriveTribe. The platform allows car enthusiasts to post and share automotive-related content through follower groups known as “tribes.” Financiers of DriveTribe also include 20th Century Fox, CEO Ernesto Schmitt, and The Grand Tour producer Andy Wilman.
9. Andy Murray
Tennis star Andy Murray is an passionate advocate of British entrepreneurship, describing it as “the driving force behind growth-focused businesses.” The Olympic gold medalist has backed multiple startups in recent years, including cycle navigation app Beeline and pet monitoring app Dog Tracker Nano.
8. Louis Smith
This Olympic medal winning gymnast has invested his winnings in a gold mine, or more precisely, the mobile gaming app Dig That Gold. Players can purchase gold mines and generate returns from other players’ in-app purchases who visit their mines.
7. Nicola Roberts
Girls Aloud band member Nicola Roberts launched a cosmetics brand catering to women with fair complexions. Her Dainty Doll products are currently available on ASOS.com.
6. Gordon Ramsay
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay entered the mobile gaming space with a title to rival the likes of Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood. Gordon Ramsay Dash is a unique take on GluMobile’s popular gaming series and sees Ramsay as the player’s uncharacteristically helpful mentor.
5. Kate Moss
The British supermodel launched the Kate Moss Accessories Collection in 2013 through Carphone Warehouse, merging her fashion prowess with the latest tech trends to create a brand of stylish phone accessories. She also produced a line of headphones and detachable charms.
4. Ricky Gervais
British actor, comedian and web-series guru ventured into the tech space with the voice conversation app Just Sayin’. The offering allows its users to interact via social media by sharing voice recordings, text, photos and video content.
3. Calvin Harris
Jay-Z pulled together several famous friends to launch Tidal, the first music service with high fidelity sound quality. Among them are French electronic music supergroup Daft Punk and Scottish DJ Calvin Harris.
2. Sir Elton John
Music legend Elton John invested £1.75 million in Gobbler, a cloud and collaboration platform for media creators. Touted as one of the hottest tech startups in LA, the offering allows its users to backup, transfer, and organize media project files and assets.
1. David Beckham
This former English football star helped finance the live video streaming app MyEye. The platform allows sportspeople, pop stars and celebrities alike to engage with their fans directly. Users can decide who can view their broadcasts and promote content across other social media platforms.
In short, these British celebrities have demonstrated the breadth of their business savvy by capitalising on the surging demand for tech-related goods and services. Whether incubating consumer tech companies or developing their own brands, UK celebs continue to be powerful contenders in the entrepreneurial arena.