How Ashton Kutcher turned $30M into $250M

Power in Numbers (PIN)
3 min readJul 10, 2023

Ashton Kutcher is not only one of Hollywood’s mega celebrities, he is also the most experienced Hollywood tech investor who has made a name for himself in Silicon Valley by investing in startups like Uber and Airbnb.

Below we break down how he turned his initial earnings from acting into a fortune.

His philosophy

As an investor, he believes in always fighting for the little guy and helping others if you’re in a position to do so.

So he began investing because he wanted to connect exceptional founders and their companies with the people who needed them.

When he found himself in the company of Silicon Valley elites, he spent 90% of his time listening and learning.

Billionaire Paul Graham & Ashton Kutcher at TechCrunch Disrupt New York

One of his first big investments

In 2009 through a connection with top venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, he invested in Skype — 18 months before Microsoft bought the company and quadrupled the value.

After making his first good amount of money from acting, he co-founded A-Grade Investments in 2010 with talent manager Guy Oseary andinvestor Ron Burkle.

Among the investments made by A-Grade were Skype, Spotify ($3M), Airbnb($2.5M), Uber ($500,000) and Foursquare.

Marc Andreessen

But his angel investing journey went up a notch when he reached out to his first mentor — the godfather of angel investing Ron Conway.

Ron shared his investment portfolio and strategy with him, and taught him about the dynamics of angel investing.

Ashton Kutcher & Ron Conway

He then co-founded Sound Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in early stage to growth and late-stage venture investments.

Kutcher came to the conclusion that there are 5 main rules for picking good investments:

→ Intimately understand both their product and their industry.

→ Have a personality that will allow them to withstand failure and setbacks.

→ A synergy between the entrepreneur and investor.

→ Ability to tell the story of the company during its early stage growth.

→ Invest in what you want to see become your reality — that’s your unique advantage.

For what you don’t know, find out everything you can about it. That involves asking stupid questions and paying attention.

Up to date, Kutcher’s invested more than $3B in startups and taken part in more than 177 funding rounds.

Some of his most interesting investments include:

→ Shazam
→ Foursquare
→ The Fabricant
→ Uber
→ Steakholder Foods
→ Skype
→ OpenSea
→ SoundCloud
→ Pearpop
→ Airbnb

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