Celebrity Investors Rake in Big Money from Uber IPO

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Uber is poised to bring massive returns to a slew of Hollywood celebrities who invested early, with an initial valuation of $82 billion.

Hollywood stars from Ashton Kutcher to Beyonce to Edward Norton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jared Leto, Jay-Z, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Olivia Munn are all among the potential benefactors of the Initial Public Offering released by Uber on Friday. Even well below its earlier $100 billion predictions, it is still making one of the biggest IPOs in history.

Kutcher was already an enthusiastic proponent of the ride-sharing company years ago. “You’re not even actually taking on the taxi companies — you’re taking on the notion of owning a car,” he told Forbes in 2016. “That’s crazy. And that’s why it has the velocity and potential that it has.”

Jay-Z was involved even earlier, investing money into the idea as far back as 2011. His wife, pop megastar, Beyonce also has about $6 million in restricted stock units as payment for doing a concert for Uber employees.

Infamous cheater Lance Armstrong invested $100,000 through Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital fund, and is now expecting an estimated return of $20 million. Some understandably wish they had put even more in the pot. “I wish I’d invested more in Uber, but it’s hard to know when something will be successful,” said actress and model Olivia Munn.

Less pleased are the drivers the company depends on for its very existence. Uber has yet to turn a profit and admitted it may never do so during its heated competition with Lyft. Drivers have been feeling the squeeze of hyper-competitive pricing. Both Uber and Lyft drivers are striking this week against low wages and a lack of job security.

Uber opened the market at around $45 per share.

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