Instead, Kutcher and Oseary have raised institutional funding from the same type of limited partners that you would see at other venture firms. You may opt-out by, Covering venture capital, software and startups, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change. So strong was her pitch that Kutcher doubled his investment to $200,000. Podcast Host and Founder of the Forbes Opportunity. “For me, it is really important to tell a new story, change the face of what success looks like,” Nicholas says. Guy Oseary. But that was mostly seen as a hobby for the two. A leading venture capital firm formed by Ashton and Guy Oseary in 2015, Sound Ventures has seemingly been pulling the strings of all the right companies. These include participation in scooter proliferator Bird’s Series C round, curated e-commerce platform b8ta’s Series B, meditation app Calm’s Series A round, and women’s health company Modern Fertility’s seed round, among others. © 2020 Crunchbase, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Epstein was a senior strategist at Marsh and served stints in business roles at iHeartMedia and Clear before joining Sound Ventures. Sound Ventures held the event at Austin’s SXSW festival to meet founders outside their usual targets of L.A., San Francisco, and New York. Sound Ventures brought on Effie Epstein as a managing partner and chief operating officer for the firm in 2017. Katherine Keating . (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Sound ). Over the following weeks, Kutcher and Forethought’s investor base worked to bring in prominent Black entrepreneurs to join the round, leading to the participation of Combs and LL Cool J. “But that wasn’t artificial intelligence. San Francisco-based business Forethought offers a tool called Agatha that it believes can actually work, with a product for service agents, triaging support tickets and resolving them on its own using natural language processing and AI software that gets smarter at anticipating solutions over time. Oseary, a music industry talent manager who has turned investor, previously partnered with Kutcher on a prior investment outfit called A-Grade Investments. Founders Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary; Operating Status Active; Related Hubs Sound Ventures Portfolio Companies; Investor Type Venture Capital Investment Stage Early Stage Venture, Private Equity Number of Exits 5; Contact Email email@example.com; Phone Number (818)853-3339 “We know you’ve been burned,” Nicholas says. SOUND VENTURES TEAM. View Ashton Kutcher’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. See Ashton Kutcher's compensation, career history, education, & memberships. How did Liebman nail her pitch? SaaS, Android, Cloud Computing, Medical Device), Where the organization is headquartered (e.g. But it would soon grow more substantial once the judges of the PerfectPitch competition, at Austin’s SXSW, stepped inside the glass-walled kitchen of the Hotel Van Zandt to pick the winner. Given the firm’s track record and access to high-quality deals, it’s likely limited partners will fill out this new fund without much trouble. Through A-Grade Investments, they put money into such high-flying tech startups as Uber, Airbnb, and Spotify. With a more formal venture fund, Kutcher and Oseary will be able to write bigger checks, invest in later-stage startups, and also put more money into investments that raise follow-on rounds. The 42-year-old actor and his ex-wife Demi Moore are the brains behind Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, reports PEOPLE.Kutcher and Moore, with the law enforcement, have helped identify 5,894 child sex trafficking victims and rescue 103 children from “situations where their sexual … Kutcher and Oseary started Sound Ventures around 2015 to take a more formalized approach to venture investing, according to a TechCrunch article from the time. READER POLL: How do you plan on doing your holiday shopping this year. Maaria Bajwa. Sound Ventures had initially set the prize for a $100,000. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. I edit the Midas List, Midas List Europe, Cloud 100 list and 30 Under 30 for VC. Ashton Kutcher. BACKGROUND: Kutcher has invested in multiple high-profile technology startups, both individually and with investment funds. Sometimes founders oversell the company but undersell themselves.”. Ashton Kutcher General Partner at Sound Ventures. What has made Forethought resonate with customers—nameable ones are mostly in tech, too, like Carta, Gusto and Masterclass—is software that plugs into a company’s sales and customer service software to learn how past issues were resolved and better predict what an individual ticket might be about. That could also mean Sound Ventures moving into more growth-stage investments in companies where they weren’t able to put money into the Series A. A-Grade had mostly been focused on early-stage investments but at the launch event, Kutcher told TechCrunch that Sound Ventures would allow him and Oseary to be more stage-agnostic when considering what companies to invest in. Digging in, Kutcher says the Sound team was impressed by how Forethought’s tech really worked. Term sheets for Forethought’s Series B arrived just as the killing of George Floyd set off Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. That made closing the round “a tough time” for Nicholas, a still too-rare Black startup founder in tech. Folks ranging from music stars to athletes and Hollywood’s cool kids have dipped their toes in the risk capital pool, but few celebrities have done so as prolifically as Ashton Kutcher. startup Jane.ai), Rebecca Liebman (financial education company LearnLux), Thomas Doochin (charitable gifting company Daymaker), Maria Yuan (legislation platform IssueVoter), and Michael Rucker (AR/VR ad company Omnivirt). At his three-year-old startup, however, Nicholas says that the tools are built differently from the ground up. The difference: real artificial intelligence software versus basic automated decision trees. I'm a Fortune Magazine and WNYC alum. That can lead to much higher accuracy and faster resolution times, Nicholas says: “Agatha is able to figure out when new problems start to arise and how to respond to them by listening to how [human] agents are responding.”. Tonight at SXSW, Kutcher and Oseary are launching the new fund with a party at the Copper Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Austin. “You need to paint a picture. Crunchbase is the leading destination for millions of users to discover industry trends, investments, and news about global companies–from startups to the Fortune 1000. “Knowing your number is the most important thing, especially in a public pitch. Judges and founders at Sound Venture's PerfectPitch Competition (L-R Backrow) Steve Bertoni, Thomas... [+] Doochin, Ashton Kutcher, David Karandish, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Rucker, Marc Benioff, Guy Oseary (Front row) Melody McCloskey, Gary Vaynerchuk, Maria Yuan and Rebecca Liebman. Effie Epstein, who most recently led … “I run a company, so I’m used to doing embarrassing things.”, I lead Forbes' CEO Network and cover the Forbes Under 30, technology, entrepreneurs, billionaires and Venture Capital. Securely share tips at https://www.forbes.com/tips/, © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Most people probably know Ashton Kutcher for his success in television and film, but he’s not-so-quietly also become a pretty successful investor in startups as well. “So often everything in tech is east coast or west coast, and the middle of the country gets negated,” says Ashton Kutcher, who grew up in Iowa. Sound Ventures is a principal investment firm. Follow me on Twitter at @alexrkonrad and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. “It’s hard to write a two-minute pitch because there are one million parts to your business and you need to share what you think will resonate most,” says Liebman. Allison Silvers Early-Stage Investor | Advisor to Startups . The actor, perhaps best known for roles on television like That 70s Show and in films like Dude, Where’s My Car? Effie Epstein.
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