Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and Battery Ventures are all names that you'd expect to see on a venture capital transaction. But what about Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, and P. Diddy? They've all made venture investments.
Bono, leader singer of the Irish rock band U2 is also known for his charity work and global activism. After decades of success as a music star, Bono co-founded a private-equity firm, Elevation Partners, in 2004. The company was named after U2's song Elevation. Elevation Partners has participated in growth equity rounds for tech and media companies like Facebook ( FB), Forbes and Yelp. In fact, Elevation bought $210 million worth of Facebook shares in the social network's pre-IPO days. (below Facebook's current share price). They also invested in Palm. Remember PalmPilots? Elevation just participated in a $38 million round for advertising analytics company MarketShare last week. Many investors have had good things to say about Bono. Charlie O'Donnell worked with Bono when O'Donnell was at the GM ( GM) pension fund. O'Donnell says he was "really impressed with how articulate and thoughtful he was about the state of digital media."