Decoding Ashton Kutcher: Hollywood heartthrob, venture capitalist, child-rights activist
He was the go-to lover boy of the romcoms in the 2000s. You may remember him from 'That '70s Show' or 'Two and a Half Men', but Ashton Kutcher is no longer the guy next door. Today at 40, he is a father of two, an executive film producer, a tech investor, an activist defending children from sexual abuse. And yes, he still acts.
Why are we discussing Kutcher today?
In a recent podcast interview for Armchair Expert, Kutcher said he wanted to make his children (3-year-old Wyatt Isabelle and 1-year-old Dimitri Portwood) resourceful and would therefore not support them financially after they grow up. He plans to donate his money to charity. However, he might invest in his children's business ideas but only if he likes them. Talk about being a venture capitalist.
How wealthy is Ashton Kutcher?
As of May 2017, his net worth - totaling his earnings from television, film, endorsements, start-up investments and other businesses - was $200 million, reported Celebrity Net Worth. Known for his business acumen, Kutcher invests in start-ups early on and reaps profits should they become juggernauts. And they have. Uber, Skype, Airbnb, Spotify, Shazam and SoundCloud are just some of the examples.
What does he look for before investing in a start-up?
He has a venture-capital firm called A-Grade Investments along with partners Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle which he uses to fund start-ups. Last year, he told Stephen Colbert on 'The Late Show' that he invests in an idea only if it's audacious, has a gigantic addressable market and earnest founders. He also assesses the product as a consumer to see if he likes it.
Kutcher has also appeared on Shark Tank
Kutcher once reportedly made assets in tune of $250 million from investments worth just $30 million. Considering his entrepreneurial prowess, he appeared as a guest shark along with tech investors Troy Carter and Chris Sacca on TV series Shark Tank in 2015.
Creating usable technology to protect children from sexual abuse
In 2009, Kutcher and his then wife Demi Moore founded Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, an organization that builds software to fight child sex trafficking. Their first product, Spotlight, a web-based tool that accelerates victim identification, was rolled out in 2016. Since then, as per Thorn's official website, it has been used in 21,044 cases - identifying 12,328 adults, 5,791 children, and 6,553 traffickers.
He's everywhere: Classroom projects, smartphone giants, digital media companies
As part of the Best School Day initiative, Kutcher in March 2016 funded classroom projects in 100 Iowa schools. Notably, he helped Lenovo create its Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, which was unveiled in 2014. Lenovo had roped him as a product engineer in 2013. Kutcher also serves as an advisor at Vox Media, which owns several news portals including The Verge, vox.com and Re/code.
The Ranch renewed for Season 3; to air this year
Despite his other engagements, Kutcher is as active in front of the camera. The third season of his Netflix sitcom 'The Ranch' (of which he is also an executive producer) is scheduled to air in 2018. He also features in James Franco's indie drama 'The Long Home', based on William Gay's novel. Another affable good-looking guy? Ashton Kutcher is much, much more.