What startup wouldn’t want a big name celeb like Taylor Swift, Queen Latifah, or Jude Law to invest in the company and then become a spokesperson?That’s the kind of celebrity/tech matching clout that private equity firm Silver Lake bought for itself.
Silver Lake just grabbed a stake in one of the biggest, baddest talent agencies in Hollywood, William Morris endeavour Entertainment (WME). It represents some of the biggest celebs, movie directors, authors and athletes. While the two companies didn’t disclose how big that stake was, the New York Times Dealbook says 31 per cent.
It’s an interesting move for Silver Lake, which is best known for its investments in tech companies like Groupon, Zynga, and Skype.
WME benefits because it has been dabbling with digital technologies, investing in interactive advertising, social media, social gaming and online retail. It wants to help its clients be more seen and more successful. Silver Lake can help it do more in tech.
While Silver Lake didn’t come out and say it will be trolling for celebs to be part of its tech investments, that seems like an obvious outcome. It did say that it will be part of WME’s Technology Advisory Council “that will identify technology-related growth opportunities which would benefit WME’s clients,” according to the press release.
This isn’t the first time Hollywood and the Valley have partnered. In 2010, the Creative Artists Agency sold a 35 per cent stake to TPG Capital, reports Dealbook.
Silver Lake has been asked for comment.