Why Are Celebrities Drawn to Investing in Travel Startups?
Co-founder of CanaryHop Damon Spiegel writes, "start ups are extremely challenging and while having someone famous certainly helps, having a vision, strategy and plan are more important."
Television stars, singers, and athletes are dabbling in the travel startup sector and putting their money and influence behind new brands. Whether they’re brought on as investor or brand ambassador, there’s no playbook for signing a big name nor is including one any guarantee for success.
William Shatner, who was better known as Captain Kirk before becoming the Priceline Negotiator, is the most well-known celebrity in the travel sphere. While he wasn’t a direct investor in Priceline, he took his payment in the form of stock, which led him to a rumored $600 million payday.
Other celebrity endorsements include Ex-NFL star Darren Goodson’s association with GuideHop, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s 5 percent stake and brand ambassadorship of Indian online travel agency Yatra, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Lance Armstrong’s investment in and promotion of Israeli photo-sharing startup Mobli.