Celebrity net worth: Rory McIlroy tees up a stake in golf management company Troon

In our fortnightly celebrity investment and wealth round-up, Katrina Kaif's Nykaa investment jumps tenfold in three years and Peter Jackson enters the billionaire directors' club

Golfer Rory McIlroy has invested in golf course management company Troon. Press Association
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Rory McIlroy

Pro-golfer Rory McIlroy has teed up quite the investment portfolio. This week, the four-time major winner’s venture arm, Symphony Ventures, joined global private equity company TPG Capital to invest in golf course management company Troon.

The injection of funds provides Troon with additional capital, resources and expertise to elevate its business. The company currently provides operational, management and advisory services to more than 620 golf and leisure complexes globally, including the Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Dubai Hills Golf Club.

Los Angeles-based PE company Leonard Green & Partners maintains majority ownership of Troon, which it has held since 2017.

“I am delighted to invest in the Troon business as they continue to deliver great golf experiences,” McIlroy, 32, said. “They really understand what makes golf special.”

McIlroy is a lead partner in Symphony Ventures, which was founded in 2019. It has since invested in more than a dozen businesses, including pain management health technology start-up Kaia and home health-test company Let’s Get Checked.

Unsurprisingly, golf forms a significant part of McIlroy’s investments. Last year, he participated in a $5 million funding round in Golf Genius Software, a provider of cloud-based tournament management software.

In July, Symphony bought into Drive Shack brand Puttery, a new brand of mini-golf venues marketed for adults. Symphony committed to at least $10m over a three-year development schedule in exchange for a 10 per cent ownership in the equity of each Puttery venue that is planned to open throughout 2023 at a price equal to 10 per cent of the total cost to build each outlet. Seven Puttery venues are expected to have opened by the end of 2021.

The Florida-based Irish golfer has a net worth estimated at $150m, thanks to tournament wins and endorsements, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Forbes estimates he earned $52m over the year ended June 2020.

Katrina Kaif

Bollywood star Katrina Kaif's investment in Indian beauty start-up Nykaa increased tenfold after the company’s initial public offering earlier this month.

Having invested 20m Indian rupees ($268,802) in a stake in the e-commerce company in 2018, the investment was worth 220m rupees within days of its listing, the news website Indiatimes reports.

Nykaa's shares – listed under their business name FSN E-Commerce Ventures – made their debut on Indian bourses at a 79.4 per cent premium to their initial public offering price before ending the first day at about double their issue price.

Kaif, 38, was born in Hong Kong and grew up partly in the UK. She is one of India’s highest-paid actors and has her own make-up brand, Kay Beauty. She is estimated to have built up a net worth of 2.2 billion rupees over a career spanning 40 films and 18 years.

Fellow Bollywood actor and Nykaa co-investor Alia Bhatt saw a similar increase in her 49m rupee investment in the company, which jumped to 540m rupees after the IPO.

Bhatt, 28, has a reported net worth of 1.5bn rupees, with income from movies, endorsements and her kidswear line Ed-a-mama.

Will Smith

Electricity and water are not a good mix – unless it is electric boats we are talking about. Certainly, Will Smith thinks so. Before he climbed to the top of the Burj Khalifa recently, the Hollywood A-lister invested in Arc through his Dreamers VC venture capital fund. The start-up aims to revolutionise boating and water sports through battery-powered craft.

Other companies to invest in the start-up include Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures, and Sean “Diddy” Combs’s Combs Enterprises.

The company was launched less than a year ago but has already attracted $7m in funding, including a seed round in February led by VC Andreesen Horowitz. It aims to build electric watercraft to serve a range of target markets and price points, chief executive Mitch Lee told TechCrunch.

Although electric watercraft are quieter, quicker and more reliable, few companies have attempted to build them because of design and battery challenges. More than 99 per cent of watercraft still run on fossil fuels, the company says.

Watch Will Smith climb up the tallest building in the world

Watch Will Smith climb up the tallest building in the world

Smith, 53, has invested in at least 21 companies, according to business information platform Crunchbase.

Through Dreamers VC, which he co-owns with Japanese football star Keisuke Honda, he has invested in e-sports company Gen.G. Earlier this year, Smith also invested in rent-to-own start-up Landis Technologies alongside entertainment mogul Jay-Z.

Smith is one of the richest actors in the world with a net worth estimated at $350m, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He earns at least $40m each year from various endeavours, including film salaries and bonuses.

Together with wife Jada Pinkett Smith, the Fresh Prince star owns property worth $100m in the US, including a 40-hectare ranch located between Malibu and Calabasas, California, and an $11m, 10,400-square-foot home in Hidden Hills, California, which he purchased in September.

Smith recently unveiled a new YouTube Originals docuseries, Best Shape of My Life, much of which was filmed in Dubai.

His new memoir, Will, was released recently.

Nick Jonas

American musician Nick Jonas has made a cash investment into Nurosene Health. The HealthTech start-up exploits artificial intelligence to help humans build better and healthier brains. The value of the singer-actor’s investment was not disclosed.

The Toronto-based company’s principal approach is a well-being app, Nuro, which helps build healthy habits for brain, mind and body through activities and coaching videos. A recent pharmaceutical technology acquisition allows Nurosene to build strength in predictive health care.

“I strongly believe that our mental health is paramount to our overall emotional and physical health,” Jonas said. “Nurosene is breaking down barriers and helping to destigmatise mental health, which is why I felt passionate about investing in a company that is prioritising it and focused on bringing brain health solutions to more people around the world.”

Ranj Bath, chief executive of Nurosene, said: “We are ecstatic to have Nick as a supporter of Nurosene, investing in our mission to innovate, educate and build a mental health community to bring recognition and awareness for our mental health solutions globally. Mental health is a systemic concern that we, as a global community, need to tackle together to build a generation of better, healthier brains.”

NFL Pro Bowl footballer Richard Sherman is an investor and ambassador in Nurosene.

With a sizeable asset portfolio that comprises property and private equity, as well as income from film and music, Jonas, 29, and his wife, actor and producer Priyanka Chopra, 39, have a combined net worth of $70m.

Peter Jackson

Good stories do not just deserve embellishment, to misquote Gandalf from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, they also deserve to be rewarded. So, it is only fitting that Hollywood director Sir Peter Jackson has become the entertainment world’s newest billionaire after an agreement to sell his visual effects studio Weta Digital for $1.62bn to US video game company Unity Software.

The cash and shares deal will put Weta’s visual special effects tools, which were used to spectacular creative effects in films such as Lord of The Rings, Wonder Woman, Avatar and I, Robot into the hands of millions of creators and artists around the world, Unity said in a statement.

The portfolio of solutions is expected to help bring to life the metaverse, a future iteration of the internet built around advanced technologies. A staff roster of 275 engineers is part of the deal.

“Weta Digital’s tools created unlimited possibilities for us to bring to life the worlds and creatures that originally lived in our imaginations,” said Jackson, the chairman and co-founder of Weta Digital. “Together, Unity and Weta Digital can create a pathway for any artist, from any industry, to be able to leverage these incredibly creative and powerful tools. Offering aspiring creatives access to Weta Digital’s technology will be nothing short of game changing and Unity is just the company to bring this vision to life.”

The deal puts Jackson’s net worth at between $1bn and $2bn, according to separate estimates by tracker website Celebrity Net Worth and Stuff New Zealand respectively. He joins George Lucas, with a fortune of $10bn, and Steven Spielberg with $8bn in the elite billionaire directors club.

The New Zealand filmmaker, 60, co-founded Weta Digital in 1993 to create digital special effects for his seminal film Heavenly Creatures. His wife Fran Walsh, Weta chief executive Prem Akkaraju and Napster founder Sean Parker are other shareholders.

The director remains the sole or majority owner of several other film-related companies, notably WetaFX, Weta Productions and Park Road Post Production.

Jackson’s assets include a property portfolio estimated at NZ$150m ($105.1m) in 2018, principally in and around the New Zealand capital of Wellington, and a mansion surrounded by 20 hectares of land at Wairarapa.

His latest work, the three-part television documentary series The Beatles: Get Back, will debut on Disney+ this week.

Updated: November 21, 2021, 5:00 AM