Ashton Kutcher took a breather from his work from the small screen to present his A-Grade investment firm with partner Guy Oseary at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY event. The two took to the stage with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to quickly affirm rumors of his company raising a $100 million valuation for future investments.
“Yeah, that is true,” Kutcher told Arrington. “We’re bundling our own present assets as well as using our own brand new funds to purchase brand new assets using the exact same technique”. We will fairly formalize exactly what we have already been performing.”
Kutcher, along with Oseary and silent business partner Ron Burkle, first launched the investment company in 2010. The trio met by virtue of mutual friends and started to joke about whether they would work well together. Since the team joined forces, they’ve had success with investments in Spotify, Shazam, SoundCloud, Airbnb and FAB, to name a few. Their now seeking more investments in exchange for equity.
While many speculated whether Kutcher would could be a savvy investor, his early work has paid off. Later this year, he will also take the roll of Steve Jobs in the biopic about the deceased Apple front-man and entrepreneur.
During Kurtcher’s turn on the TechCrunch stage, the 32-year-old actor discussed his interest in future investment opportunities and where he could see a specific business sector opening up. Specifically, he mentioned that he would like to see online privacy catch up with our times. He remarked that “privacy is becoming a bigger and bigger issue (on the internet)” and that the so-called “Big Brother” has opened up a new opportunity in which to combat.
So when did internet privacy become such a big deal?
At this point, we’ve grown accustomed to the virtual world and connecting ourselves to every such social network that will have us. We like sharing our lives through tweets, posts, pins and so on that sometimes we forget that we’re leaving tracks behind us. Tracks that can be scraped, manipulated and sold to the highest advertiser. And many remain skeptical of whether this advertising model is the best that we can ask for.
It’s not just the small companies that are employing such advertising practices. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continue to doll out new advertising efforts to target their audience more effectively. But what sometimes they forget is that we remain susceptible to some of the more evil online practices, such as online abuse and identity theft, to name a few.
In spite of this, we still choose to opt in to these online social networks. Or maybe it’s just that we have no where else to go. In either case, Kutcher believes that there may be a fundamental change in how we connect and privatize our lives to the virtual world.
I still think there are some things we can do before opting out of these social media sites. For one, we can check the confidentiality agreements (which tend to change quite frequently). Or we can opt out of these networks and opt into social media sites like Sgrouples and NextDoor which mandate privacy.
But nevertheless, Kutcher believes that there is potential for privacy on the internet. In fact, it may be better for everyone if we can employ such a service on a global scale. But until then, it’s just a simple idea worth exploring and a savvy investment idea that lays in waiting.
A passionate writer for more than 5 years, Nick Trenchard writes about the tech industry, social media and tech products.
Trenchard’s passion for the tech industry inspires him to inform his readers about the lifestyle surrounding it. He writes for a few niche websites including a Silicon Valley blog, an Apple Insider blog and is a copywriter for the online privacy network Sgrouples.com. Trenchard enjoys writing about his experiences in each field, diving into research and offering tips and resources on various subjects.