Celebrity Net Worth: Lionel Messi kicks off new investment company

In our fortnightly celebrity investment and wealth round-up, Cher hopes to sell her Malibu home for $85m and cricketer MS Dhoni invests in a plant-based protein brand

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Lionel Messi

Football legend Lionel Messi has set up a company to invest in sports, media and technology around the world in what is seen as a way to consolidate his post-retirement income stream.

Play Time, based in California, is a partnership between the Messi Group and Silicon Valley executives Razmig Hovaghimian and Michael Marquez. The company will look to invest in promising teams and football technology start-ups.

“I am excited to extend our roots into Silicon Valley, and I am thrilled that Play Time will collaborate with daring entrepreneurs from all over the world,” Messi, 35, told Bloomberg.

“I hope that through its success, Play Time will help many people and have a positive impact on the world. I trust in the team and our partners to achieve our objectives.”

Play Time has already incubated a games studio called Matchday.com. Currently in stealth mode, it will be launched before the 2022 World Cup finals in Doha.

The company will also invest in AC Momento, a football marketplace that auctions match-worn shirts from leading players and clubs.

Morado, a seed-stage fund focused on early stage investments, is also involved in Play Time.

The Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain player has been rated this year’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes magazine after he grossed $130 million in pre-tax earnings in the year to May.

While Messi commands a lower salary at PSG than he did at FC Barcelona, he is still expected to finish the current season with $110m, the magazine said. About $55m is expected to come from off-field income in the form of endorsements.

In April, the footballer joined digital fan token creator Socios.com as its global brand ambassador in a three-year contract valued at $20m.

Messi has a net worth estimated at $600m, according to wealth tracking website Celebrity Net Worth.

US singer Cher, 76, has a net worth estimated in excess of $360 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. AFP

Cher

US singer Cher has put her Malibu, California, mansion on the market for $85m. If successful, the sale would represent an increase of about 3,000 per cent on the 1989 purchase price of $2.95m.

The I Got You, Babe singer has put the seven-bedroom home on the market for a second time after first attempting to sell it for $45m in 2009.

The home has a meditation room, panic room, a climate-controlled room for the singer’s wigs, a guesthouse, tennis court and infinity pool. The property is inspired by the Italian city of Venice, but also features Turkish and Moroccan touches.

“From every room, there is an ocean view,” the singer and actress told The Wall Street Journal in an email confirming the listing.

Cher, 76, has a net worth estimated at more than $360m, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

The daughter of a lorry driver and a fashion model has earned those millions over six decades in entertainment.

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She has released 41 studio and compilation albums, totalling sales in excess of 100 million as a solo artist, and a further 40 million with her former husband, Sonny Bono. Her hit Believe has sold more than 11 million copies.

Cher has had successful stints in film, theatre, variety television and infomercials. She has received more than 300 awards, including an Oscar for her role in Moonstruck, a Grammy for Believe and an Emmy for her 2003 Farewell Tour live video.

She has ventured into the world of fashion, starring in campaigns and collaborating on garment lines, including for Versace and Dsquared2. She has also launched two fragrances.

Cher is also an activist and philanthropist, running the Cher Charitable Foundation dedicated to supporting disenfranchised populations.

Outside entertainment, she has been a real estate investor, buying and selling property across the US.

Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has invested in faux meat brand Shaka Harry. Sportzpics for IPL

MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former captain of the Indian cricket team, has invested in packaged faux meat brand Shaka Harry, the company said.

“I love everything chicken but increasingly, I am looking at a more balanced diet,” Dhoni said in a report published by the Hindu Businessline newspaper.

“For a growing population, current protein sources aren’t sustainably as scalable. We now have a choice to shift to smarter protein alternatives without compromising on taste and texture. The plant protein segment is an exciting consumer space.”

The Bengaluru-based company recently raised $2m in seed funding from Indian and international investors, including Panthera Peak Ventures, Better Bite Ventures and Blue Horizon.

The company is part of a market that is expected to grow to 1.9 billion Indian rupees (about $23m) by 2030 within India, according to Deloitte.

Dhoni, 41, has a net worth of $180m, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

He has represented India from 2004 to 2019, leading the nation’s team to a number of victories, including the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups.

Between 2013 and 2015, Dhoni reportedly earned an average of $31m annually.

He has supplemented his income from cricket with numerous endorsement deals, including Colgate, Mastercard India and GoDaddy. His fees run to anywhere between 350m rupees and 600m rupees per year, according to the Financial Express newspaper.

Dhoni often takes a stake in the companies he endorses, including beverage brand Copter 7, drone start-up Garuda Aerospace and used-car marketplace Cars24.

The cricketer owns sports teams, including hockey team Ranchi Rays and the Chennai-based football club Chennaiyin FC.

He also runs a film and documentary production company, Dhoni Entertainment, and owns the footwear division of Indian casual wear brand Seven.

Dhoni has homes in Mumbai and Pune in the state of Maharashtra, and a farmhouse in Ranchi, Bihar, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, who have been married for 24 years, are worth a combined $400 million, according to estimates by Celebrity Net Worth. EPA

Cindy Crawford

Supermodel Cindy Crawford has joined a $70m series A funding round for healthcare start-up Prenuvo, the company said.

Crawford's husband, Rande Gerber, also participated in the round, alongside Google’s Eric Schmidt, Nest founder Tony Fadell and Anne Wojcicki, chief executive of 23&Me.

The company specialises in advanced, radiation-free whole-body imaging for early detection of cancer and other diseases. A single hour-long Prenuvo scan covers 26 regions and organs of the body and screens for more than 500 conditions, including most solid tumours, while the cost is less than that of traditional MRI screenings, the company said.

The equity and debt funding was led by Felicis Ventures. Prenuvo will use the funds to invest in its artificial intelligence and radiology ventures as well as to add more clinics across the US.

Crawford and Gerber, who have been married for 24 years, are worth a combined $400m, according to estimates by Celebrity Net Worth.

Both former models, they have bought and sold many homes in California, New York City and Baja California, Mexico, over the years.

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Most recently, they sold their five-bedroom home in Beverly Hills for $13.5m to WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, according to Variety. The couple paid $11.6m for the property in September 2017.

They reportedly continue to own homes in Malibu and La Quinta, California, a waterfront property in Miami Beach, a condo in Manhattan and an island home in Ontario, Canada.

Both have also made private equity investments. Earlier this month, Crawford and Gerber joined a $26m funding round for home fitness brand Katalyst.

Last year, the pair joined Venus Williams, Nick Jonas and others in investing in HumanCo, a holding company for health and wellness brands.

Updated: October 24, 2022, 5:00 AM
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