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Celebrity investors take over startups

The Financial Express logo The Financial Express 02-01-2023 Archie Bandyopadhyay
Deepika Padukone © Provided by The Financial Express Deepika Padukone

Many celebrities are business savvy, with an entrepreneurial mindset. And now they are taking chances on startups that they believe in, and helping to boost their growth, with the hopes of a nice financial return.

Bollywood star Alia Bhatt is fast becoming a big name in the startup investment game, with several startup companies benefiting from her entrepreneurial skills.

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Some of her investments include Phool.co a startup that collects floral waste from temples and mosques and then handcrafts the waste into patented organic fertilizer, charcoal-free luxury incense and other wellness products via flower cycling;  StyleCraker, a Mumbai-based personal styling platform and omnichannel lifestyle retailer Nykaa.

She has also launched her own startup called Ed-a-Mamma, a kidswear fashion brand.

Whilst Anushka Sharma is very well known as an Indian actress and movie producer, besides being cricketer Virat Kohli’s wife, the Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi star also has an eye for start-up investment. She has invested in the likes of millet-based startup Wholsum Foods, where she is the brand ambassador and advocate for the company’s flagship brand Slurrp Farm. 

With Kohli, she has invested in insuretech startup Digit Insurance and  a homegrown plant-based meat company, Blue Tribe.

Startup investment adds to the many talents of Indian actress, singer, entrepreneur and film producer Priyanka Chopra. She invested in dating and social media app Bumble and Apartment List, a US-based rental marketplace. She joined the Holberton School as an investor and an advisor to help further the careers of women in tech.

Speaking of one of the most influential female faces in Bollywood, Deepika Padukone’s astute business sense is well known. She runs KA Enterprises LLP, a firm that streamlined her investments. The company has invested in many start-ups across sectors. These include Epigamia (FMCG), FrontRow (edtech), BluSmart (electric taxis), Super Tails (for pets) and Bellatrix Aerospace (space tech).  She is also the brand ambassador for Femtech startup Nua. 

In 2015, Deepika Padukone had launched her own fashion label named All About You, which was later acquired by Walmart-owned fashion retailer Myntra.

While in 2021, she founded  82°E, a personal care brand with skincare as the core focus. Her startup recently raised $7.5 million in seed funding.

Actor, film producer, and philanthropist Sonu Sood has backed post K-12 mentoring startup Intercell, and is on board as co-founder. Sood and Jitin Bhatia also co-founded and launched Explurger, an AI-based social media app, in June 2022.

Suneil Shetty is not only dedicated to the entertainment sector, he has also invested his money in startups. The actor-turned-investor has invested in NFT marketplace Colexion, health-tech startup Vieroots, wellness nutrition brand BodyFirst and fitness brand Aquatein.

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