Jared Leto is the modern renaissance man: award-winning actor, acclaimed musician, and serial tech investor. He's only recently started hyping the latter role, but he has already charmed his way to the top of TechCrunch's favorite celeb list.
Following an exhausting, two-plus hour keynote speech at Box's annual business conference, TechCrunch's Alex Wilhelm lobbed some softball questions at Leto about his investments and "film pictures." What'd we learn? Leto prefers to fund "transformative companies that will redefine verticals or markets" and his biggest payday came from Nest, the defective smoke alarm and thermostat company Google gobbled up for $3.2 billion.
TechCrunch was blown away by what they heard:
I hadn't been aware that Leto was involved with Nest in any capacity. In fact, Leto's CrunchBase profile lists only four investments to his name. The musician is therefore one of the quieter celebrity investors out there. There is no shortage of famous money in tech at the moment, or star hype, but it tends to be noisy. In Leto's case, somewhat to the contrary, I doubt that many in tech know that he is so active.
The blogging machine that churns corporate cheerleaders into venture capitalists had no idea that Leto had lavished his fortune upon forty startups. Perhaps one of TechCrunch's writers can go work for him?
All told, Leto is perhaps the only celebrity technology investor that I don't actively dislike. That and he's a decent human in person.