4 Bollywood Celebrities Who Are Betting Big on Indian Startups

4 Bollywood Celebrities Who Are Betting Big on Indian Startups

Keep an eye on the startup space as celebrities hop on the Indian startup bandwagon.

India is a hotbed of startup activity, and many Bollywood celebrities are investing in some of the most promising ventures. These investments not only provide much-needed capital to these budding businesses but also massive media exposure, which can go a long way in attracting other investors and customers. Let’s learn more about the following four celebrities who have been active investors in the Indian startup scene.

Ranveer Singh

Ranveer Singh
Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh is one of the latest celebrities to bet big on Indian startups. The actor has invested an undisclosed amount in ‌the direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty and personal care brand Sugar Cosmetics. This investment comes close to the US$50 million funding that the company raised from L Catterton in June 2022. 

Speaking about his first investment, Ranveer said, “I take pride in partnering with a brand that believes in empowering women. I have admired Sugar’s ability to build a tremendous fan following over the year. I’m excited to be a part of this journey and help the brand provide Indian women access to premium & quality makeup products, specially formulated for them.” With this partnership, Sugar expects to be able to leverage new customer acquisition channels, especially with the Gen Z and millennial audiences in India.

Founded by Vineeta Singh in 2015 as a D2C company, Sugar Cosmetics grew quickly and ventured into offline trade in 2017. Now, Sugar has more than 35,000 retail points across more than 500 cities in India, making it one of India’s fastest-growing homegrown beauty brands.

Katrina Kaif

Katrina Kaif
Image courtesy of Flickr

Bollywood star Katrina Kaif has set her eyes on investing in the health and wellness industries. After launching her makeup brand Kay Beauty (in association with Nykaa) in 2019, Kaif invested an undisclosed amount in the beauty ecommerce platform Nykaa through a secondary transaction in 2020. When asked why she chose to invest in the company, the actress attributed it to her familiarity with Nykaa’s leadership and growth in the market, so she felt it was a “logical step” to invest. Prior to this, in 2018, Kaif also bought around US$243,000 (INR2.02 crore) stakes in the company. 

Over the years, Kaif has shown that she’s adept at taking risks, and this gamble has paid off. On November 10, 2021, Nykaa was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) at a premium of 78% and 79% respectively. Kaif’s holdings thus gained ten times the reward to her portfolio thanks to this investment. Founded in 2012, Nykaa has more than 100 stores in India and sells more than 4,000 beauty and wellness brands online and offline now.

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone
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While Deepika Padukone has enjoyed significant success as an actress, her commercial endeavors have also proven profitable. After setting up KA Enterprises LLP to help with the hassle and paperwork of investments in 2014, Padukone has been plowing money into multiple startups. Her impressive investment portfolio consists of many promising startups, including furniture rental platform Furlenco and beauty marketplace Purplle. 

Padukone has continued to make headlines for backing several leading startups recently. In 2019, Bellatrix Aerospace, a startup that was developed by the Indian Institute of Science (IIS), received funding in a pre-series A round, where the actress was one of the lead investors for this project.

In 2020, Padukone put money into the affordable electric taxi company BluSmart. In the same year, she also participated in the US$3.2 million-worth seed funding round for FrontRow, a learning platform with courses taught by celebrities from various creative fields like music, sports and comedy. 

In 2021, Padukone invested an undisclosed amount in a US$2.6 million funding round for the digital pet care platform Supertails.com.

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan
Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has always been interested in backing startups, and his venture has been fruitful. In 2013, Bachchan signed on as the brand ambassador for the local search engine Just Dial when it launched. He also invested around US$7,561 (INR6.27 lakh) in it, and his shares grew to US$795,948 (INR6.6 crore) in seven months. 

In 2015, Bachchan made his first international investment in the Singapore-based company Ziddu, a firm that offers both online cloud storage and microloans in digital currency. In just two years, the value of his investment had increased 70 times, and he made over US$13.5 million (INR112 crore).

In 2019, Amitabh Bachchan invested an undisclosed amount in the edtech startup Eduisfun, his first investment in the sector. Bachchan was also one of the investors who invested an undisclosed amount in Macmerise Celfie, a company that deals with licensed merchandise from Marvel, Disney and Star Wars. The company raised US$1 million in March this year in a series A funding round.

With the potential for huge returns and the opportunity to be a part of something truly transformational, it’s no wonder that more and more celebrities are betting big on Indian startups. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these businesses—and what other celebrities will get involved!

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