Celebrity Net Worth: Jared Leto invests in AI video start-up

In our fortnightly celebrity investment and wealth round-up, Sony Music is reported to be in talks to buy Queen’s music catalogue for $1 billion and Shahid Kapoor buys sea-facing apartment worth $7 million in Mumbai

Jared Leto has a personal fortune estimated at $90 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. AFP
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US actor and musician Jared Leto has participated in an $80 million funding round for Pika, an artificial intelligence start-up in Palo Alto, California, that generates video, as venture capital investors continue to pour billions of dollars into AI companies that are trying to compete with industry heavyweights OpenAI and Google.

The funding round was led by US venture capital firm Spark Capital, according to a statement from Pika.

Other investors in the series B round include VC firms Greycroft and Lightspeed Venture Partners. In total, the company has now raised $135 million, Pika said.

Co-founders Demi Guo and Chenlin Meng left their graduate studies at Stanford University’s AI doctoral programme to focus on Pika full time and unveiled its first AI video-making software in late 2023.

The programme lets users generate short video clips from written prompts, still images or other videos.

Designers for Leto’s rock band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, have experimented with Pika and incorporated its videos into some of the footage shown on stage at concerts, Bloomberg reported.

Leto, who has starred in films such as Fight Club, Girl, Interrupted, Dallas Buyers Club and Suicide Squad, has a personal fortune estimated at $90 million, according to celebrity wealth tracking website Celebrity Net Worth.

Outside of his acting career, Leto, 52, is also the frontman and primary songwriter for Thirty Seconds to Mars, which he started with brother Shannon in 1998. They released their debut album, 30 Seconds to Mars, in 2002.

The band has sold more than 15 million albums.

Leto is also the founder of social media management company The Hive, concert ticket company The One and Only Golden Tickets (which was renamed Adventures In Wonderland in 2013) and live-streaming video service VyRT, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

He was also an investor in the website Reddit, private jet airline Surf Air and financial services company Robinhood.

In 2015, Leto purchased a home in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, for $5 million. The home, which was once the Lookout Mountain Air Force Station, contains eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, the website reported.

Queen

US music label Sony Music is in talks to acquire rock band Queen’s music catalogue, which includes hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody, in what could be one of the biggest deals in this area, Bloomberg reported citing sources.

Sony is working with another investor on a purchase that could potentially total $1 billion.

The talks, which also cover merchandising and other business opportunities, may not result in an agreement, the sources said.

In recent years, there has been a frenzy to acquire music catalogues, which have attracted billions of dollars in investment from specialist investment funds and private equity companies such as KKR and Blackstone, competing for deals against traditional music companies.

Artists have been selling their catalogues to investors for increasing sums in recent years.

Songwriting catalogues are seen as attractive investments because they can be used for decades in films, played on the radio or used for advertisements – all producing royalties for the owners of the rights.

Earlier this year, Sony acquired a half interest in pop star Michael Jackson’s music catalogue from the late singer’s estate for at least $600 million, Billboard reported.

Bob Dylan also sold his recordings to Sony in 2022 and Warner Music acquired David Bowie’s songbook for about $250 million the same year.

Bruce Springsteen’s back catalogue was sold to Sony in 2021 for an estimated $500 million.

Queen’s back catalogue includes some of the biggest selling hits, including Don’t Stop Me Now, Another One Bites the Dust and We Will Rock You.

Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and the estate of Freddie Mercury are equal shareholders in Queen Productions, which produced revenue of £40.9 million ($52 million) for the year ended September 30, 2022, according to the latest available filings.

Universal Music Group this year bought a minority stake in Chord Music Partners, a company that owns more than 60,000 songs, including ones written by artists such as the Weeknd, John Legend and Lorde.

However, not all music catalogue deals have been a success. In 2022, members of the band Pink Floyd decided to sell their catalogue for at least $500 million but bids failed to materialise.

Companies that have focused on buying up music rights have also struggled. Founded in 2018 in London, Hipgnosis bought up song catalogues with the goal of turning music into an asset class, but the fund struggled to recoup its investment in music rights and is currently being sold to private equity firm Blackstone.

It owns song catalogues from Blondie, the Kaiser Chiefs and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Shahid Kapoor

Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor and his wife Mira have purchased a sea-facing apartment in Mumbai’s upscale Worli district for 604 million Indian rupees ($7.2 million), according to Indian media reports.

The apartment, situated on the 24th floor of the building, spans 6,176 square feet and is the actor’s second investment in the high-rise residential tower.

In 2018, the couple bought a duplex on the 42nd and 43rd floors of the same tower for 585.7 million rupees.

The project, Three Sixty West, is a mixed-use development that features two towers – one housing The Ritz-Carlton hotel and the other comprising luxury residences managed by The Ritz-Carlton, according to reports.

Kapoor, 43, has a personal fortune of $70 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

He made his Bollywood debut as a background dancer in the 1999 film Taal, which was directed by Subhash Ghai.

He made his acting debut with the 2003 film Ishq Vishk and other movies include Vivah, Jab We Met, Kaminey and Kabir Singh.

His monthly income is reported to be about 30 million rupees from brand endorsements, movies and other businesses.

The actor has endorsed several brands, including Colgate, Dulux Paint and Tommy Hilfiger, and athleisure brands such as Reebok and his own clothing line Skult.

Kapoor and his wife invested an undisclosed amount in an Indian yoga and wellness start-up called Sarva, also backed by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and Malaika Arora, the Economic Times reported in 2019.

He has 46.8 million followers on Instagram and is reported to charge up to four million rupees a post.

Drake

Canadian actor, producer and rapper Drake was revealed as the buyer of a $15 million, 313-acre resort in rural Texas.

He made the investment through a limited liability company, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

“The property isn’t a single-family estate. It’s a former five-star resort, which was known as The Inn at Dos Brisas,” the website said.

“It was an upscale vacation destination between 2004 and 2022, when it closed after struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic. In the early 2000s, the estate was a private compound for a wealthy family. That family converted the property into a resort in 2004.”

There are other smaller houses on the property ranging between 800 square feet and 1,800 square feet, with amenities such as stone fireplaces and plunge pools between them, Celebrity Net Worth reported.

The ranch is located in a quiet rural stretch between Houston and Austin.

Drake, 37, has a net worth of $250 million. Over the years, the rapper has endorsed major brands, including Sprite, Burger King, Nike and Apple.

Drake's Dubai concert - in pictures

When Apple Music launched, Drake signed a $19 million exclusivity deal. This deal allowed Apple to be the exclusive initial home of all of Drake's future solo releases.

In 2012, Drake formed his own record label, Ovo Sound, which is distributed by Warner Bros Records.

He is consistently one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world. Since first gaining mainstream success, Drake has earned more than $430 million in his career, before taxes and lifestyle costs, according to Celebrity Net Worth estimates.

He is one of the most successful forces in hip-hop and the music industry at large. He has worked with the biggest stars in the music industry including Kanye West, Eminem, Jay-Z and Travis Scott.

Drake grosses about $1 million a concert and has sold more digital singles than any artist in history. His digital single sales stand at 163 million, 40 million more than the second-placed person, Rihanna.

In May 2019, Drake released a video on Instagram that revealed his newly acquired Boeing 767 private jet, which he has named Air Drake.

Updated: June 10, 2024, 5:00 AM