Celebrity net worth: How Roger Federer earned more than $90m in 2021

In our new fortnightly celebrity investor roundup, Reese Witherspoon dives into the world of cryptocurrencies and Kevin Durant scores big on and off the court

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Ð  Feb 24 , 2014 : Roger Federer ( SUI ) playing against Benjamin Becker ( GER ) during the first round match of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships at Dubai Duty Free Tennis stadium in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For Sports. Story by Ahmed

Roger Federer

Dubai homeowner Roger Federer netted $90.6 million over the 12 months to August 2021, making him the highest-earning tennis player in the world.

However, less than $1m of that comes from playing tennis. His on-court earnings were lower than normal because the 20-time Grand Slam winner sat out this year’s US Open due to an injured knee.

The bulk of Federer’s income comes from endorsements, according to Forbes.

That trend is consistent across the top 10 tennis earners. They collectively earned $320m over the past 12 months – a 6 per cent drop due to Covid-19-related cancellations. By contrast, the top 10 tennis earners made 4 per cent more from endorsements over the same period – a total of $281m, despite a reduced marketing expenditure by many brands.

Federer could be poised for an even bigger pay cheque soon, when shoemaker On Holding, in which he invested an undisclosed sum in 2019, completes an initial public offering in the US. According to regulatory filings, the Zurich-based company aims to raise $622m from the primary market, presaging a valuation of $6 billion.

On’s IPO will consist of 31.1 million shares priced at $18 to $20 each. Assuming conservative sales, the company will have an enterprise value of about four times 2023 sales – as compared to 4.5 times for Nike and 6.5 times for Lululemon, according to Yahoo! Finance estimates.

The offering comes as athletic shoes are selling well thanks to the Covid-19-induced gym closures, which have prompted people to find other ways to keep fit, Reuters reports.

Federer teamed up with the company earlier this year to develop the Roger Pro tennis shoes, which sell for about $200 a pair.

This image released by HBO shows Reese Witherspoon in "Big Little Lies." The program is nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding limited series.  The Emmy Awards ceremony, will air on Sept. 17. (Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/HBO via AP)

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has succumbed to the mania for cryptocurrencies by purchasing digital tokens for the first time, she announced via Twitter.

“Just bought my first ETH! Let’s do this #cryptotwitter,” the actor and businesswoman posted on September 3.

ETH – or Ether – is the cryptocurrency of open-source blockchain platform Ethereum. The token was trading at $3,419 on September 7, down from its record high of $4,372. However, it has quadrupled in value over the course of this year.

Witherspoon’s move came days before investors were warned not to follow celebrity hype around cryptocurrencies, particularly on social media.

“There are no assets or real world cashflows underpinning the price of speculative digital tokens, even the better-known ones like Bitcoin, and many cannot even boast a scarcity value,” Charles Randell, chairman of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, said in a speech at a financial crime symposium this month.

“These tokens have only been around for a few years, so we haven’t seen what will happen over a full financial cycle. We simply don’t know when or how this story will end, but – as with any new speculation – it may not end well.”

Because of their volatility, financial advisers recommend that retail investors only invest money they can afford to lose in cryptocurrencies.

Mr Randell was referring to a recent Instagram post by Kim Kardashian promoting Ethereum Max, a newly created cryptocurrency that is not to be confused with the open-source blockchain platform Ethereum and its ETH token.

There is no suggestion that Witherspoon is promoting the cryptocurrency to her fans.

Quote
There are no assets or real world cashflows underpinning the price of speculative digital tokens, even the better-known ones like Bitcoin, and many cannot even boast a scarcity value
Charles Randell, chairman of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority

The Legally Blonde star, 45, is now considered the world’s richest female actor. In August, her media production company Hello Sunshine was sold to a new company backed by private equity firm Blackstone Group. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the company is now valued at around $900m, Reuters reports.

Blackstone reportedly paid $500m in cash for the company, which produces Apple TV's The Morning Show, HBO's Big Little Lies and Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere. Apple was among potential suitors for Hello Sunshine, Reuters added.

Witherspoon founded the company in 2016, betting on women-led stories. Her focus on streaming content has coincided with a boom in smartphone use for entertainment – a trend amplified by the uptake of all things digital after coronavirus-linked restrictions.

Witherspoon is thought to have sold about half of her pre-existing 40 per cent stake in the company for an estimated $120m after taxes, according to Forbes. The Academy Award-winning actor retains ownership of at least 18 per cent of the company.

Following the Blackstone deal, the rest of her fortune comes from earnings and investments following a 30-year career as an actor and producer, having begun her career as a teenager in 1991. She receives a reported $1.2m per episode for producing and acting in The Morning Show, but is also sought after for endorsement work in commercials for companies such as Crate & Barrel.

Entertainer Jay-Z watches his daughter Blue Ivy Carter leap on the field before the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Blue Ivy Carter

Being born to the right parents can set you up for life. That’s certainly the case for Blue Ivy Carter, the nine-year-old singer who is expected to follow Rihanna on to music’s billionaire rich list. A new estimate projects that Jay-Z and Beyonce’s oldest child could be worth $1bn in the not-too-distant future.

Already estimated to be the third-richest kid in the world with $500m, Blue Ivy’s future rich-list status will come from a trust fund and other investments, according to UK toy company Electric Ride on Cars. The company uses data from fame and money website, Celebrity Net Worth.

Blue Ivy is already building up a sizeable college fund from her earnings as a musician. In March, she became the second-youngest person to win a Grammy alongside her mother for the hit Brown Skin Girl.

Kevin Durant

Basketball star and celebrity investor Kevin Durant is set to score big both on court and off over the next few years with a couple of recent deals.

Durant’s investment in expense management platform Jeeves has increased in value after the start-up raised $57m in a Series B funding recently, giving it a $500m valuation. That’s just two months after Jeeves, which offers corporate cards and cross-border payments, raised $131m in a series A round at the start of the summer. Over that period, its revenue has grown by 1,150 per cent, the company said.

Durant, 32, has not publicly revealed how much he has invested in Jeeves – but business information platform Crunchbase puts it at $57m. Other celebrity investors in Jeeves include fellow basketballer Andre Igoudala, football player Odell Beckham Jr and electronic music duo The Chainsmokers.

After leading the US basketball team to a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Durant signed a $198m four-year extension to stay with the Brooklyn Nets. At the end of that deal, he will have earned $505m from basketball.

In August, health tracking firm WHOOP announced a $200m Series F funding round at a $3.6bn valuation. Durant invested in the start-up in 2017. In 2018, WHOOP was valued at $125m in a series C funding round. The new appraisal indicates a return of about 2,800 per cent for the two-time NBA championship winner and his investment vehicle Thirty Five Ventures, which is run by Durant’s long-time business partner Rich Kleiman.

Durant has also profited from early investments in digital currency exchange Coinbase and online broker Robinhood, both of which went to the primary market this year. The basketball star began investing in start-ups in 2016 with amounts ranging between $250,000 and $1m, according to sports business website Sportico.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - March 16th, 2018: A mass yoga session hosted by Bollywood actress Malaika Arora as part of X Yoga Dubai. Friday, March 16th, 2018. Kite Beach, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Malaika Arora

Bollywood star Malaika Arora is looking to expand her investments in the health and wellness industry with her new company, Malaika Arora Ventures. The aim, she said in a statement to the Financial Express newspaper, is to find businesses and opportunities that “spread the message of healthy living”.

The Chaiyya Chaiyya actor, 47, already generates income from other clean-lifestyle businesses, including online fashion brand Label Life, fitness company SARVA Yoga and clean eating player Nude Bowl.

“We are already in talks with more such brands and expanding ourselves into the overall well-being segment, including beauty and health,” she said. “So the idea is to promote good health inside out and we have barely scratched the surface as of now. MAV plans to dig deeper and establish itself as one of the major players in this sector.”

Updated: September 12th 2021, 12:46 PM
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