Skky Partners on Wednesday announced its launch as a new private equity firm co-founded by socialite and celebrity Kim Kardashian and Jay Sammons, a 16-year veteran of Carlyle Group Inc.
It’s the latest in a series of private equity and venture capital firms backed by entrepreneurial stars from the world of sports, music and social media.
Skky Partners plans to specialize in control and minority investments in “high-growth, market-leading consumer and media companies,” the firm said.
Sammons was global head of consumer, media and retail at Carlyle when he left the firm last month, according to his LinkedIn profile. He’s now the co-founder and co-managing partner of Skky Partners.
The firm did not disclose the dollar size of its typical investments.
The Wall Street Journal reported that past deals by Sammons at Carlyle Group
Kardashian is a reality TV star who launched privately held underwear company Skims, which has drawn a valuation of $3.2 billion.
Sammons told the newspaper he approached Kardashian earlier this year about launching a firm. Sammons left Carlyle Group
Kardashian’s mother Kris Jenner will be a partner at Skky, Sammons told the WSJ.
Celebrities and politicians have for years shown an attraction to venture capital and private equity firms as they leverage their popularity and social media buzz to generate sales for various products and businesses.
Among them, Sean P. Diddy Combs launched Combs Enterprises in 2013. The firm has teamed up with basketball great Kevin Durant and actor Will Smith to invest in Arc, a company that makes electric boats. Just this past week, Combs Enterprises invested $2 million in REC, a company that provide media production facilities, for REC’s expansion in Miami.
Other celebrity-backed firms include Magic Johnson’s Magic Johnson Enterprises; Will Smith’s Dreamers VC; TGR Ventures from golf great Tiger Woods; rapper and music producer Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners; also Serena Ventures from tennis star Serena Williams and Case Verde Capital, a venture capital firm aimed at the cannabis business launched by rapper Snoop Dogg (Calvin Broadus).
Actor Ashton Kutcher founded A-Grade Investments with Yukaipa Companies co-founder Ron Burkle and music producer Guy Oseary. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has co-founded Rx3 Ventures with Roth Capital’s Nate Raabe and Byron Roth.
U2 lead singer Bono has been associated with a couple of private equity firms. He was co-founder and managing director of now-defunct Elevation Partners in 2015. In 2016, Bono co-founded the Rise Fund with TPG Inc.
Among politicians, former Vice President Dan Quayle has been an executive at Cerberus Partners since 1999 and is now chairman of the firm.
Congressman and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is widely known as a co-founder of Bain Capital. His son, Taggard Romney, now runs Solamere Capital, which lists former House speaker Paul Ryan as a partner.
Also Read: ‘They have shattered barriers’: On Wall Street, the new biggest private equity firms are run by Black and Latino billionaires, and people of color.