Indian celebrities who are seed investors
be the third largest ecosystem of startups in the world, India has more than 100 unicorns. As venture capitalists, angel investors, business people and high net worth individuals (HNIs) fund emerging startups, Bollywood of celebrities have bet on the ecosystem of startups.
Apart from acting, many smart celebrities in the Indian entertainment industry have turned into seed investors, including Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shetty, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Ayushmann Khurrana, Shahid Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez among others.
The latest to join the club is the Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan who invested an undisclosed amount in a cloud cooking company Curefoods and has also signed a “long-standing association” which makes him the brand ambassador EatFitthe flagship brand of Curefoods.
Your story looks at some of the recent investments in star power:
Athiya Shetty | Step 3
In March, the Bollywood actor Athiya Shetty invested an undisclosed amount in Stage3 based in New Delhi, a fashion and lifestyle community social commerce platform. Athiya will take on the role of Creative Director of Stage3.
Launched in 2015 by Sabena Puri, Stage3 is a comprehensive social commerce marketplace for fashion where content, social interactions and commerce converge. It provides its digital native customers with a curated, discovery-driven and hyper-personalized shopping experience, engaging directly with India’s creator economy of over 5 million influencers and content creators.
The startup has engaged a social following of more than 500,000 and a strong fashion ecosystem of over 2,000 celebrities, stylists, designers and influencers who will drive the future of e-commerce.
The startup also recently raised Rs 20 million notable investors such as Blume Ventures, Inflection Point Ventures, Nueva Ventures, Eragon Ventures, Let’s Venture, Stanford Angels, Ananth Narayanan (Founder, Mensa Brands), Dinesh Aggarwal (CEO, India Mart) and Sashwat Nakrani (Co-Founder, Bharat Pe).
Samantha Ruth Prabhu|SustainKart
In March 2022, the Indian actress Samantha Ruth Prabhuwho made his Bollywood debut with Family man-2invested in SustainKart, an e-commerce marketplace for sustainable products. His investment is part of the SustainKart funding round. The startup also announced the launch of its first retail franchise model.
SustainKart will use the seed fund for marketing for customer acquisition and enable offline retail stores to deliver a unique in-store customer experience.
Founded in 2021 by Kanthi Dutt and Shilpa ReddyAn aggregator of clean and green products based in Hyderabad, SustainKart is a brand that offers a range of sustainable and eco-friendly products ranging from fashion to decoration, beauty and well-being, from furnishings to gifts , nutrition and snacks, child care, pet care, etc. .
It is a platform that currently hosts over 1,000 brands and 85,000 SKUs, aiming to revamp homes with conscious products.
The startup’s mission is to change the spending pattern of Indians for their lifestyle products. He aims to become a unicorn by 2023.
SustainKart claims to have achieved several milestones since launching in January 2021. This includes lifting a pre-seed round, launching a private label, and acquiring two D2C brands.
In April 2022, the Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan invested in Bengaluru-based cloud kitchen operator Curefoods. The startup has signed a long-term association with him, making him the brand ambassador for EatFit, a brand under Curefoods.
Dhawan’s investment in Curefoods coincides with the launch of its D2C (direct-to-consumer) multi-brand food ordering platform – Welfare. The platform aims to provide direct access to popular brands under Curefoods. It will also play a role in instilling sustainable food ordering habits by promoting its food subscription options, particularly for its healthy food brands, which customers can consume several times a month.
In the years to come, the public will see Varun appear in Curefoods’ marketing efforts to promote healthy eating and online ordering through eatfit.in.
In 2021, the actor also invested an undisclosed amount in nutraceutical brand D2C Fast&Up.
Launched in 2020 by Ankit Nagori, Curefoods is home to brands like EatFit, Sharief Bhai, Frozen Bottle, Aligarh House Biryani, CakeZone and Great Indian Khichdi.
It has over 150 kitchens that cater to over 10 cuisines, across 15 cities in India. The startup claims it is India’s second-largest cloud kitchen player in terms of footprint with the largest manufacturing capacity in the fresh food space.
Curefoods recently announced the acquisition of Frozen Bottle and Sbarro’s franchise rights in South India. Building on its multi-brand, multi-cuisine model, Curefoods is on an ambitious path to significantly expand its footprint and offer a wealth of food options to meet the growing needs of a diverse consumer base.
In January 2022, he raised $62 million in financing companies like Iron Pillar, Chiratae Ventures, Sixteenth Street Capital, Accel Partners and Binny Bansal.
Sara Ali Khan | The Souled store
In March 2022, the Indian actor Sara Ali Khan joined pop culture brand, The Souled Store, as a financial partner.
Founded in 2013 by three young people Vedang Patel, Rohin Samtaney and Aditya Sharma, The Souled Store, based in Mumbai, is an online marketplace for pop culture products. Its products range from t-shirts, boxers, backpacks and mobile blankets to socks, pins, badges and more.
The startup claims to be India’s largest fan merchandise destination with licenses including Disney, Warner Bros, WWE, IPL Teams, EPL Teams and Viacom18.
For the first five years, the startup started and received seed funding from RP-SG Ventures in November 2018.
Since then, the company has grown more than 4 times by focusing on customer data, insights and feedback, and keeping customer satisfaction above all else.
In August 2021, he raised Rs 75 billion in a Series B financing led by Elevation Capital.
Over the past six months, the brand has leveraged the reach of OTT stars Aisha Ahmed, Mithila Palkar, Barkha Singh and Ahsaas Channa to highlight various womenswear categories. This has given it better visibility with OTT customers and is also a major step for the brand in influencer marketing. It has also worked with more than 100 influencers in the beauty, fashion and travel space to amplify its range of women’s clothing on social media.
The future will see The Souled Store open its first-ever retail and experience space in Bangalore, spanning 5,000 square feet.
In February 2022, the Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty invested an undisclosed amount in a fitness startup aquateine. He also became the brand ambassador of Aquatein.
Launched in 2019 by Ananta Prabhala and Mitisha MehtaMumbai-based aquateine is a keto-friendly, gluten-free, lactose-free and 100% vegetarian drink that is mostly water with added protein.
In 2021, the actor showed interest in the NFT space and joined an NFT marketplace on the Colexion polygon network. He joined Colexion as an investor and advisor.
The food and beverage startup aims to create scalable products to make nutritional intake simple, effective and tasty for everyday use.
Its products are available online, as well as on Amazon, HealthXP, Netmeds and a rapidly growing list of outlets across India.
According to the startup, the startup was carefully formulated and tested in a European laboratory run by a team of food technologists.
Starting at Rs 2,400 per month, the startup provides a monthly protein supply delivered weekly to your doorstep.
In January 2022, Tiger Shrofffamous for his action films, has invested an undisclosed amount in English-learning startup Freadom.
Earlier in 2016, Tiger Shroff launched his clothing line Prowl which sells clothes on its website and on the Amazon online marketplace.
Founded in 2016 by Kavish Gadia and Nikhil Sarafbased on Gurugram Freedom enables children to learn to read in English in any country where it is an aspirational second language, via its state-of-the-art recommendation engine; integrated collaboration with Stanford University to promote English language learning.
Freadom is an initiative of Stones2milestones Edu Services Pvt Ltd which was founded in 2008.
The startup provides an app for Android and iOS users to start their learning journey.
It is aimed at children aged 3 to 12 and offers content including stories, quizzes, live lessons, storytelling sessions, news, activities and talking games. The app continues to assess the level of the child as they use the app and guide them towards improvement, which can be tracked.
Since its inception, Freedom has raised a total of $6 millionwhose $5 million came after the pandemic. Its main investors are Unreasonable Capital and Capital A, in different rounds and stages.
The startup aims to use the funds in product development and distribution, as well as further strengthen the startup’s vertical presence.