Celebrities from the worlds of sports, entertainment and investing bring business acumen and panache to SPACs
Shawn Corey Carter, more commonly known as Jay-Z, has established himself as one of America’s most influential recording artists. But the rapper, songwriter, record executive and record producer has also become a wildly successful investor. In fact, he parlayed his music-industry prowess with his knack for business to become hip-hop’s first billionaire. Since 2005, he’s made 10 personal investments and one partner investment, with his most recent in Therabody, a tech wellness company. He entered the SPAC sphere as chief visionary officer for The Parent Co., a cannabis producer and distributor that completed a merger in January with CMG Partners Inc.’s Caliva and Left Coast Ventures Inc. The Parent Co., formerly known as Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp., has $381 million in cash to deploy for deals and aims to dominate the California cannabis market, the world’s largest.
With her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Serena Williams has set a powerful example for women in sports, and she’s also demonstrating how powerful women can be in the business world. Over the span of five years, Williams has invested in 34 startups and, in April 2019, she announced the creation of Serena Ventures, a firm that invests in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity. She was the first athlete to reach the Forbes annual list of the world’s richest self-made women, with an estimated fortune of $225 million. Williams also serves on the board of directors for the SPAC Jaws Spitfire Acquisition (SPFR). The SPAC raised $300 million in an IPO to acquire consumer technology and related technology businesses in Europe and North America, and it recently merged with Velo3D to create a combined company with an enterprise value of $1.6 billion. It is expected to occur in the second half of 2021.