Bollywood biggies who have invested in start-ups
Last week Akshay Kumar, invested an undisclosed amount, as part of Series C funding, in wearable tech start-up, GOQii (pronounced Go-Key). Earlier in 2014, Madhuri Dixit had also invested in the company, with her husband Dr. Shriram Nene serving as its Chief Medical Officer. Akshay is however not the only celebrity to put in money in start-ups. Find out who else have done it.
Before Akshay and Madhuri, several other Bollywood biggies including Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Suniel Shetty and Amitabh Bachchan, have invested in start-ups. In May this year, Deepika invested an undisclosed amount in Drums Food International (DPI), which owns flavored greek yogurt Epigamia. The investment was made through KA Enterprises LLP, a corporate entity wholly-owned by her.
Also in May, Arjun Kapoor made an announcement that he would invest in Foodcloud.in, a Delhi-based home-food delivery company. "My aim at investing in Foodcloud.in is to serve a larger societal purpose of empowering the homemakers to contribute towards their family income," he had said backing his move. Foodcloud was established in 2014 by Vedant Kanoi and Sanjhi Rajgarhia, and enables delivery of home cooked food.
In the same month, Suniel Shetty, already a smart businessman, put in his money in SQUATS, a Pune-based health and wellness start-up. "In today's time, when all kinds of false information about fitness is common, there is a critical need for companies like SQUATS," Suniel had said. The 2016-founded company has 5L members, and aims to create around 1L jobs in the fitness sector.
Mumbai-based fitness start-up SARVA, founded by yogi-turned-entrepreneur Sarvesh Shashi in 2016, has found major investors in Malaika Arora and Shahid-Mira Kapoor. Apart from Malaika and Shahid, pop icon Jennifer Lopez is also an investor of SARVA. Currently SARVA has 91 studios in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru, and in the next three years, it aims to build 500 brick-and-mortar studios in 15 cities in India.
Last year, Priyanka Chopra Jonas introduced US-based dating app Bumble in India as its brand ambassador and investor. "Women want love, they want friendship, and they want to find a career, and that's the uniqueness of what Bumble delivers," she said. This female-centric app, started in December 2011 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, is available in both English and Hindi on iOS and Android.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan had showed keen interest in start-ups way back in 2010. He eventually made huge returns from the listing of JustDial, a company he endorses. In 2015, he invested $250,000 in Ziddu, a Singapore based online cloud storage and sharing solutions firm, along with his son Abhishek. Founded by Venkata Srinivas Meenavalli and run by Meridian Tech, Ziddu makes money from advertisements.
Unlike the aforementioned names, Alia Bhatt started early in the investment game. In 2017, she bought a minority stake in fashion-tech start-up StyleCracker, as part of Series A funding. "I'm not actively looking for investments, but when I learned about StyleCracker, it seemed like a very logical move," she said. The six-year-old company offers customized fashion boxes curated by celebrity stylists to customers.
Karisma Kapoor turned into a partner-brand ambassador from an avid customer for Babyoye, an online retailer for baby clothes, toys and more. In 2011, she became the largest individual stakeholder of the company. "Babyoye delivers to 500 cities in India. It is a boon for babies and parents alike," she said. Babyoye is also backed by other companies like Tiger Global and Accel Partners.