Last week, enhanced-water brand Lemon Perfect announced it closed a $31 million Series A funding round. One of the investors was pop star Beyoncé, a singer whose album “Lemonade” soared to platinum status.
“It was an easy decision to invest in something that not only tastes great and is healthy, but also, and most importantly, allows choosing a healthier lifestyle to be affordable and accessible to everyone,” the singer said in a press release about the investment.
These days, if you want to see some of the latest CPG investments, you need look no further than publications like Entertainment Weekly or Rolling Stone. A growing number of actors and musicians are putting money into food and beverage, wellness, fashion and beauty brands. Stars like Reese Witherspoon, Oprah and Katy Perry are building up impressive portfolios of brands, putting millions of dollars as well as their star power behind them.
One source estimated celebrities have invested more than $2 billion in CPG brands overt the past five years alone, and the total dollar amount is likely much larger. In 2019, Vegan meat brand Impossible Foods raised $300 million in a round of funding from such celebrity investors as Jay-Z, Ruby Rose, will.i.am, Katy Perry, Trevor Noah and Serena Williams.
Shawn Carter (JAY-Z) launched Marcy Venture Partners (MVP) in 2018 to invest in consumer-focused startups, according to a recently released SEC filing. In April, Marcy Venture Partners participated in a $33 million investment in Madison-Reed.
Actor Patrick Schwarzenegger has become a powerhouse in the CPG industry. He started his own investment company back in 2019 and has invested in a wide variety of brands in the better-for-you space, including Liquid I.V and Super Coffee as well as SKU alum HA!.Snacks.
Some celebs, like Schwarzenegger, are creating their own brands He developed MOSH, – a platform brand of food and beverages designed to support long-term brain health – with his mother Maria Shriver. Katy Perry was one of the creators of De Soi, a line of non-alcoholic, sparkling, vegan apéritif. And Jaden Smith was only 10 years-old when he got the idea for JUST Water. The beauty industry now is dominated by celebrity-led brands, with new brands launching nearly everyday. Some of the notables include Rihanna’s Fenty, Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez and JLo Beauty created by Jennifer Lopez.
Some recent Celeb investments include:
Poppi: Investors in this probiotic soda include Russell Westbrook, The Chainsmokers, Halsey and Ellie Goulding.
Oatly: Investors in the low-fat oatmilk include Oprah, Jay-Z and Natalie Portman.
Unspiked: The non-alcoholic drink backed by Kate Hudson.
Partake Foods: Rihanna and Marcy Venture Partners (co-founded by Jay-Z) have invested in the food brand.
Clevr Blends: The wellness brand, which makes SuperLattes, is backed by Meghan Markle,
Vital Proteins: The collagen brand boasts Jennifer Aniston as one of its investors.
Investment experts say celebrities typically prefer not to invest in seed funding. Series Series A is the most popular point for celebrities to invest because the audience has been established and the celebrities’ personal brand can elevate the startup to the next level.
Celebrity investment definitely packs a punch, creating instant buzz and attracting the attention of consumers, retailers and other investors.
We are honored and humbled that Beyoncé has become a part of the Lemon Perfect family,” Lemon Perfect Founder and CEO Yanni Hufnagel said in a press release. “She is a worldwide icon whose talent, character, and positivity are unsurpassed. Her investment and the energy it sparks will accelerate Lemon Perfect’s rise toward its goal of becoming the number one brand in the multibillion-dollar enhanced water category by market share.”