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HomeUncategorizedInside the celebrity investment circle: The stars behind start-up success

Inside the celebrity investment circle: The stars behind start-up success

Cricket and showbiz have always had a close connection, whether it’s the glamorous parties or the charming jodis that capture our hearts. But there’s another bond that ties them together—their support for start-ups.

Several cricket legends, like Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, have become angel investors, backing various start-ups. According to Tracxn, 28 celebrities, including Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Anushka Sharma, Shraddha Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh, have invested in a total of 73 start-ups.

Stars from Bollywood, such as Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar, have also joined the start-up investment trend, using their star power to turn these businesses into successful ventures.

As of December 21, 2023, Indian celebrities have invested in over 110 start-ups, with B2C e-commerce and Internet-first brands being the most favored. Start-ups based in Mumbai and Bengaluru have been particularly successful in attracting celebrity investments, with six of them even achieving unicorn status.

The Success Stories:

  1. Upstox

Investor: Shikhar Dhawan

About: Upstox is a certified investment platform regulated by SEBI.

Investment: Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan invested in Upstox in 2022.

Unicorn Status: It achieved unicorn status in November 2021 after raising USD 25 million at a valuation of over USD 3 billion.

  1. Spinny

Investor: Sachin Tendulkar

About: Spinny, founded in 2015, is an online platform for selling used cars.

Unicorn Status: It entered the unicorn club in November 2021 after raising USD 283 million at a valuation of USD 1.8 billion. Sachin Tendulkar joined Spinny as a strategic investor and lead brand endorser in December 2021.

  1. MyGlamm

Investor: Shraddha Kapoor

About: MyGlamm, founded in 2017, is an online makeup brand based in Mumbai.

Unicorn Status: It became India’s first beauty commerce start-up to achieve unicorn status in November 2021 after rebranding itself as The Good Glamm Group. It raised USD 150 million at a valuation of USD 1.2 billion, with Shraddha Kapoor investing in June 2021.

  1. MPL

Investor: Virat Kohli

About: MPL is an online gaming platform founded in 2018.

Unicorn Status: After raising USD 150 million at a valuation of USD 2.3 billion in September 2021, MPL entered the unicorn club. Virat Kohli invested in a Bengaluru-based startup, Galactus Funware Technology Pvt Ltd, which owns MPL, in 2019.

  1. Digit Insurance

Investors: Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli

About: Started in 2016, Digit Insurance became the first unicorn of 2021 with a USD 1.9 billion valuation.

Investment: Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma invested in 2020, with Virat investing Rs 2 crore and Anushka Rs 50 lakh, totaling around USD 3,40,000 (Rs 2.5 crore approx.).

  1. Cars 24

Investor: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

About: Cars24, founded in 2015, deals in the sale, purchase, and financing of pre-owned cars.

Unicorn Status: It achieved unicorn status in November 2020 after raising USD 200 million at a valuation of more than USD 1 billion. Mahendra Singh Dhoni owns equity in Cars24 and acts as the company’s brand ambassador.

Insights

  • Sachin Tendulkar has invested in nine start-ups, while Suniel Shetty has backed over half a dozen, including NFT marketplace Colexion, health-tech startup Vieroots, wellness nutrition brand BodyFirst, and fitness brand Aquatein.
  • Shilpa Shetty has invested in a diverse range of start-ups, including Mamaearth, Wickedgud and Chicnutrix, Fast&up India, Fullife Healthcare, and Kisankonnect.
  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s investments include Ambee and Possible, while Anushka Sharma has invested in Blur Tribe Foods, Digit Insurance, and Slurrp Farm, showcasing their diverse interests in the start-up ecosystem.

Conclusion

The involvement of cricket and showbiz icons as angel investors has significantly contributed to the success of several start-ups, turning them into unicorns. Their star power not only provides financial support but also helps these businesses gain traction and visibility in the market. This trend highlights the growing influence of celebrities in shaping the start-up ecosystem, bridging the gap between glamour and entrepreneurship.

Disclaimer: This blog has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making related decisions.
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