Celebrities are no strangers to the world of entrepreneurship and venture capital investing. Folks ranging from music stars to athletes and Hollywood’s cool kids have dipped their toes in the risk capital pool, but few celebrities have done so as prolifically as Ashton Kutcher.
The actor, perhaps best known for roles on television like That 70s Show and in films like Dude, Where’s My Car? and Cheaper By The Dozen, is more likely to show up on late night talk-shows to talk about his startup investments than his new show. (Take his July 2017 appearance on The Late Show with Steven Colbert as an example.)
Partners on the filing include:
Oseary, a music industry talent manager who has turned investor, previously partnered with Kutcher on a prior investment outfit called A-Grade Investments. A-Grade Investments struck venture deals with a number of companies you probably have heard of, including Uber (A-Grade participated in its $1.3 million angel round in 2010), Airbnb (in that company’s Series B and Series C rounds), Casper, Product Hunt, and many others.
Kutcher and Oseary started Sound Ventures around 2015 to take a more formalized approach to venture investing, according to a TechCrunch article from the time. As part of the transition, Ron Burkle, a former partner with A-Grade Investments, left the partnership.
Sound Ventures brought on Effie Epstein as a managing partner and chief operating officer for the firm in 2017. Epstein was a senior strategist at Marsh and served stints in business roles at iHeartMedia and Clear before joining Sound Ventures.
So far in 2018, Sound Ventures has made a number of investments in a wide range of industries. These include participation in scooter proliferator Bird’s Series C round, curated e-commerce platform b8ta’s Series B, meditation app Calm’s Series A round, and women’s health company Modern Fertility’s seed round, among others.
Given the firm’s track record and access to high-quality deals, it’s likely limited partners will fill out this new fund without much trouble.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias