Between "acting" gigs, Ashton Kutcher occasionally promotes social media enterprises by throwing the weight of his celebrity behind them. Previously he helped make Twitter. Now it's location-based network Foursquare. Except this time he stands to make a mint.
Word has it a handful of major venture capital firms including Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Redpoint Ventures are in a bidding war to invest money for the service, which combines mapping users locations with gameplaying elements (and which all the kids at SXSW, Kutcher included, were using). Because people will believe anything as long as a celebrity talks about it (see: diets, pharmaceuticals, everything else in the world), Foursquare may now be valued at up to $80 million. And one of the people who stands to gain most is Ashton Kutcher, an early angel investor in the company.
Kutcher's adoption of Twitter didn't pay off for him. This time around things may be different. If the injection of funds ends up propelling the service to a big exit—as these big-name VC investors are hoping—Kutcher will undoubtedly be better remembered for his savvy tech investing than his forgettable roles on-camera.