Japanese football icon and Hollywood star have joined forces to support Elon Musk’s crazy projects. Now their joint fund is taking over video games.
Somewhat overshadowed by the huge acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft (for $ 7.5 billion), another interesting transaction took place – a small Japanese game developer Playco raised $ 100 billion from investors. Thanks to this financing, the valuation of the startup specializing in mobile games increased to $ 1 billion, making it the so-called unicorn. There would be nothing extraordinary about it, if not for the fact that the famous actor Will Smith (“Independence Day”, “Gemini Man”, “I am a legend”) and Keisuke Honda, former Japanese football player and undoubtedly pumped his money into this project the legend of this sport across Asia.
READ ALSO: Deepfake is conquering pornography. Manipulated films with stars
Playco is not the first investment that brought this quite exotic duo together. Smith and Honda are the founders of the Dreamers VC (dreamers) fund, which has recently been intensively searching for innovative, technological ventures.
Las Vegas Tunnel and Virtual Reality
Dreamers VC, although it was founded only two years ago, already has almost half a hundred innovative companies in its portfolio. The fund has invested, inter alia, into two particularly original projects, behind which stands Silicon Valley guru – Elon Musk. It’s about The Boring Company and Neuralink. Therefore, the “Dreamers” financially support the visionary who, on the one hand, wants to transfer car traffic in Los Angeles to tunnels, and in Las Vegas next year, it will enable automatic Tesla driving underground, on the other hand, he is developing implantable brain-machine interfaces, which in the future they will allow thoughts to control electronic devices. Both visions still sound like science fiction today, but Will Smith, having roles in such films as “Me, the Robot” and “Men in Black,” clearly believes in Musk’s seemingly crazy endeavors. But the 51-year-old Hollywood star can afford such risky investments. It is estimated that his fortune, thanks to film salaries, reached $ 350 million, which – according to Celebrity Net Worth – makes him the highest-paid actor of the last two decades.
But Smith not only finances innovative projects, he is also the founder of startups. In 2015, he and his wife launched the Just Water company, which was involved in the production of ecological bottled water. It went to stores in Japan and Australia. Today, the valuation of this company is around $ 100 million.
In the USA, more and more celebrities are getting involved in high-risk investments, such as financing startups
Smith is like a magnet that can attract investors, including those known from the big screen. Last year, his Dreamers VC was supported by a startup specializing in virtual reality technology – Snadbox VR. He was followed by other actors and musicians: Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake. As a result, Sandbox VR easily obtained $ 11 million in one round.
Celebrities like startups
In the USA, more and more celebrities are getting involved in high-risk investments, such as financing startups. Famous musicians, for example, spend their money on innovative projects: Puff Daddy, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Usher, actors: Kevin Hart (“Jumanji”, “Agent and a half”), Ashton Kutcher, who is extremely active on the VC market (he has shares in Airbnb or Skype), Jared Leto (invested in over 50 startups, including Slack and Uber) or Justin Timberlake, as well as athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson and David Beckham.
READ ALSO: Snoop Dogg invests in Swedish fintech owned by a Pole
The latter – like Dreamers VC – invests in gaming through its DB Ventures vehicle. Former England footballer and player, incl. Real Madrid focused on esports and became a co-owner of the Guild Esports organization founded in London. This is to be the world’s first export franchise to enter the stock exchange. During its debut, the company wants to raise 20 million pounds on the London Stock Exchange.
In the Silicon Valley, there is no shortage of star tandems financing startups like Smith and Honda. These include the joint investments of Robert Downey Jr. and Jay-Z or Leonardo DiCaprio and Jareda Leto (they are shareholders in the Suja Juice startup, which produces natural juices.