Kim Kardashian is launching a private equity firm to acquire stakes in fast-growing media and consumer companies, aiming to convert her stardom and influence with 329 million Instagram followers into financial returns.
The new company, SKKY Partners, is a collaboration between the reality TV star turned business mogul and Jay Sammons, a former Carlyle Group executive who carved out a niche for himself by investing in celebrity-backed ventures.
This reflects the growing financial sophistication of a generation of artists, who welcomed audience fragmentation and the rise of online platforms as an opportunity to monetize their personal brands without ceding value to old-fashioned media companies that once served as guards.
Sammons is a pioneer of this strategy. At Carlyle, he took a multibillion-dollar private equity firm into the uncharted world of show business, reaping exceptional returns from star-studded deals, including an investment in headphone maker Beats by Dre.
But its 2019 acquisition of a stake in Big Machine Records sparked controversy when one of the label’s biggest stars, Taylor Swift, complained that the deal had given control of master recordings of six of its multi-platinum albums to a man she considered herself. Némésis, the musical director Scooter Braun.
Sammons’ latest venture aligns him with a family that provided a steady stream of celebrity drama after he shot to fame in 2007 with the hit reality show keeping up with the Kardashians.
Since then, they’ve proven adept at monetizing their ability to add celebrity shine to mainstream brands, including shapewear brand Skims and KKW, a makeup brand that cosmetics maker Coty has invested in for a $1 valuation. billion dollars in 2020.
SKKY announced his arrival in a tweet, stating that his “target industries include consumer products, digital & e-commerce, consumer media, hospitality & luxury.” The firm gave few other details and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
No funds have yet been raised to make the planned investments, according to the Wall Street Journal, which revealed that Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, will also be associated.
But other firms have tested the institutional demand for consumer-focused celebrity-backed investments and have seen some success.
Marcy Venture Partners, a company co-founded by rapper Jay-Z, began raising money for a second institutional fund last year with a target of $200 million, according to securities filings.
Another celebrity-backed company, Casa Verde Capital, has invested in products ranging from fintech platforms to cannabis-infused snacks. The company’s website highlights its relationship with rapper Snoop Dogg, whom it describes as “a prominent icon blazing a trail in pop culture” and “a key member of the . . . team responsible for to shape the identity of the company.