Star-studded startups: Five celebrities betting on Indian companies

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh is the latest celebrity to join an Indian startup by becoming an investor. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed. Singh has invested in SUGAR Cosmetics, a leading omnichannel beauty company. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed. Launched in 2012, the cosmetics brand offers cruelty-free, premium quality makeup products.

Singh’s partnership is likely to cement SUGAR’s fan-favorite status while opening up new channels for the company to acquire customers. Its investment follows a $50 million Series D fundraising, led by L Catterton’s Asian fund.

Not only him, many celebrities and B-city cricketers have already invested in several startups.

Here is a list of celebrities who have invested in different companies:

Virat Kohli

Ace cricketer Virat Kohli has invested in various startups, some of which include Digit Insurance, Universal Sportsbiz, Chisel and Rage Coffee. In 2015, he invested Rs 90 crore in gym and fitness startup Chisel with a 30% stake in the company.

Kohli, along with actress Anushka Sharma, has invested a total of Rs 2.5 crore in Digit Insurance, an insurtech startup. It was founded in 2017 by Kamlesh Goyal.

In 2020, he invested $1.8 million in fashion startup, Universal Sportsbiz, founded in 2012 by Anjana Reddy. The company’s latest funding round was raised via debt financing.

In March 2022, Kohli invested in Rage Coffee, a D2C food and beverage brand, launched in 2018. Earlier in August 2021, Rage Coffee raised $5 million in growth capital as part of its round of Series A funding led by Sixth Sense Ventures.

Katrina Kaif

Katrina Kaif has invested in Falguni Nayar’s e-commerce platform, Nykaa, a marketplace for various beauty and wellness products. After launching her makeup line, Kay Beauty, Kaif invested Rs 2.02 crore in Nykaa in 2018. Nykaa’s latest round of funding included secondary market fundraising.

FSN E-commerce, which operates under the Nykaa brand, achieved a consolidated net profit of 42% at Rs 5 crore in the April-June quarter of FY23.

The company had recorded a net profit of Rs 3.52 crore in the same period a year ago.

Deepika Padukone

The actress has invested in six companies in total: Furlenco, Purplle, BluSmart, Epigamia Bellatrix Aerospace and Front Row.

Furlenco is a subscription-based furniture rental platform, founded in 2012 in Bangalore.

Purple is an online store selling cosmetics, skin care products, hair care and fragrances. Launched in 2011 in Mumbai, the company’s latest funding round includes a Series E fundraising.

BluSmart offers reliable and affordable taxis to consumers in Delhi-NCR. Founded in 2019, the company recently received funding via a Series A fundraising.

Launched in 2015, Epigamy is a brand of premium, all-natural Greek yogurt that helps people make healthier choices. The company’s latest round of funding is a Series A fundraising.

Bellatrix Aerospace is a 2019 startup, founded by Indian Institute of Science. Deepika Padukone was one of the main investors in the company, which received funds through a grant.

First rank is a learning platform, which offers courses taught by celebrities in creative fields. The edtech platform was launched in 2020.

Ayushmann Khurrana

In 2019, the actor invested in The Man Company, a men’s grooming business, founded in 2015. Khurrana was not only the brand ambassador but also made an undisclosed investment. The company recently raised funds through a funding round.

It was the first time Khurrana had made such an investment, according to the company’s press release. TMC Founder and Managing Director Hitesh Dhingra said the funding was part of a strategic investment in the company and the actor would not hold any position on the board. He added that the funds will be used for branding and building presence across India.

Priyanka Chopra

In 2021, she invested in a dating app, Bumble, and an alternative college education startup called Holberton School. Launched in 2011, Bumble was a feminist dating app, while San Francisco-based Holberton School was founded in 2015.

In August, Bumble slashed its full-year revenue forecast, hit by war in Ukraine while facing fierce competition from rivals such as Match Group Inc in the online dating market.

Shares of Austin, Texas-based Bumble fell nearly 13% in after-hours trading as its current-quarter forecast also fell below Wall Street estimates.

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