×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jessica Alba Joins Apple’s ‘Planet of the Apps’ Reality Series

Lightspeed Venture Partners commits $10 million to fund winning apps

Actress-entrepreneur Jessica Alba has boarded “Planet of the Apps” as a mentor and adviser for the unscripted competition series co-produced by Apple and Propagate aimed at identifying up-and-coming app developers.

In addition, Lightspeed Venture Partners, which was the first institutional investor in Snapchat and Alba’s Honest Company eco-friendly consumer-products startup, has joined the series as venture-capital partner. Lightspeed has committing $10 million to fund the development of apps selected in “Planet of the Apps” — which Apple is producing as a big piece of branded content to promote the App Store and the creation of apps for the iOS platform.

Alba, who will also serve as an executive producer, joins Gwyneth Paltrow, will.i.am and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk, who were previously announced as mentors and advisers for the series slated to debut in 2017. Paltrow and will.i.am will also executive produce the project, along with Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens of Propagate.

In recruiting Alba, Paltrow and will.i.am, Apple and the show’s producers clearly are banking on the trio’s celeb appeal to draw in viewers — rather than their app-coding know-how. That said, each of them have bona fide business experience that extends beyond their performing careers.

“I started the Honest Company because I saw an opportunity in the market for a brand that spoke to conscious consumers and created safe and effective products for every need,” Alba said in a statement. “As a mentor on ‘Planet of the Apps,’ I’m looking forward to meeting entrepreneurs looking to address a problem with an innovative solution, and to help them realize their vision. I can’t wait to see the ideas the app developers bring to the table.”

Alba, who stars in the just-released action pic “Mechanic: Resurrection,” founded the Honest Company in 2012. The company sells baby, personal care, home care, and vitamin and supplement products, and offshoot brand Honest Beauty features a line of skincare, makeup and hair-care products. In 2013, Alba published “The Honest Life,” a best-selling guide to safe and healthy living.

Lightspeed Venture Partners is an early-stage VC firm with over $4 billion in committed capital that has invested in more than 300 companies over the past two decades. Those include Nest (bought by Google), Playdom (acquired by Disney), Flixster (acquired by Warner Bros.), Kongregate (acquired by GameStop) and Slice (acquired by Rakuten).

“Consumer technology has become popular culture, as our portfolio companies like Snapchat have demonstrated,” said Lightspeed partner Jeremy Liew. “We’re excited to work with Apple and visionaries from the tech and entertainment space to discover and enable the next generation of apps that will also become popular culture.”

Producers have invited up to 100 aspiring app developers to submit proposals at PlanetOfTheApps.com for a chance to appear in the show, and extended the deadline to Wednesday, Sept. 21.

The series is slated to shoot in Los Angeles over a non-consecutive period from late 2016 to early 2017. Craig Armstrong, Rick Ringbakk and Charles Wachter will serve as showrunners and executive producers.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Nvidia Shield leak

    Nvidia Shield 2019 Model Leaks on Amazon

    The latest version of Nvidia’s Android TV streamer has found its way onto Amazon.com ahead of an official announcement. The new device features a more powerful processor as well as a new remote control. Nvidia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The latest Nvidia Shield is being powered by a Tegra X1+ processor, [...]

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

    'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order': Respawn CEO on Telling the Story Behind 'Becoming a Jedi'

    When it comes to media properties, it doesn’t get much bigger than “Star Wars.” That sentiment certainly isn’t lost on Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The title, which follows Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis (voiced by Cameron Monaghan) after the events of “Episode III — Revenge of [...]

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

    'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order': What to Expect From EA and Respawn's Latest

    There’s a lot riding on “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The upcoming title from EA and Respawn is the first major single-player “Star Wars” video game since 2008’s “The Force Unleashed,” and is one of the most anticipated games of 2019. After years of multiplayer adventures, could “Fallen Order” be the title that brings the [...]

  • Katie Couric Olympics

    Katie Couric Plots 'SeeHer Stories' for People Magazine

    Katie Couric’s next assignment: Creating digital videos for People. Couric’s media company, Katie Couric Media is teaming with the Meredith-owned magazine to produce the weekly digital video series “#SeeHer Story,” that will feature short vignettes of female trailblazers and rulebreaks. The series is meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which prohibits [...]

  • Wonderscope Willowcrest Manor

    Within Adds 'Willowcrest Manor' Ghost Story to Its Wonderscope AR App (EXCLUSIVE)

    Los Angeles-based immersive media startup Within added another augmented reality (AR) story to its children’s storytelling app Wonderscope Thursday: “Willowcrest Manor” gives kids a chance to become a ghost, haunt a house, and scare intruders away from hidden treasure. Wonderscope, which is available for most recent-generation iPads and iPhones, lets children explore animated stories in [...]

  • STRANGER THINGS

    'Stranger Things 3' Is Most-Watched Season to Date, Netflix Says

    The Upside Down delivered upside for Netflix in the third quarter: “Stranger Things” season 3 was the most-watched season of the series to date, according to the streamer. In the first four weeks of release, “Stranger Things” season 3 was watched by 64 million member households, Netflix said in the Q3 letter to shareholders. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content