TechCrunch caught up with actor and singer Jared Leto today backstage at BoxWorks, the annual confab focused on Box’s enterprise file storage service. Leto had just taken part in the event’s keynote, which stretched north of two hours.
Why would Leto, who won an academy award in 2013 for his performance in “Dallas Buyers Club,” take part in a technology conference? Simply put, it’s somewhat standard stomping grounds for the Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman. Leto claims dozens of investments in young companies and is the founder of several firms himself.
While Leto is mostly known for his work in entertainment, he has also put money into Surf Air, Zenefits and Wish. His best investment? According to Leto, Nest, a company that Google picked up for $3.2 billion.
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.
That might be because Leto has also founded three companies, which, along with his film and touring schedule, could restrict his ability to chat too much about where he shunts his dollars.
The three firms are The Hive, which focuses on social media management for brands; The One and Only Golden Tickets, which is now operates under the Adventures in Wonderland moniker; and VyRT, which deals with the live-streaming of concerts, but remains in beta.
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. Watch the clip; it was a fun shoot.