Female Celebrity investments in tech businesses and start-ups

Tech Business and Start-up's

The rise of women millionaires over the decade has also given rise to them diversifying their investment portfolios. While these women millionaires come from varied backgrounds, a large number of them are from the entertainment sector – models turned actors, Bollywood celebrities to TV stars and more. Over the past few years, a growing number of these female celebrities have been investing in causes they care about, from fitness, beauty and wellbeing, healthcare to sports tech and space tech. Here is a look into some of the leading ladies in Indian cinema who have made substantial investment in tech based businesses and start-ups.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas – Bumble
Bumble partner, advisor, and investor’ is the tag added to leading lady and face representing India across west and globally – Priyank Chopra, post her investment in tech based dating app, Bumble. A well known award-winning actor, producer, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Priyanka joined the Hive (Bumble) right before the brand expanded into the Indian subcontinent. For any brand, entering a new market can be tricky and Bumble made their entry a blockbuster hit using Priyanka Chopra as the face of Bumble in India. In an interview, it has been noted that Whitney, the founder of Bumble, has gone on record to say that it was Priyanka’s idea to expand to India, making India one Asia’s first country for Bumble to enter into.

The social and dating application Bumble is aimed at bringing women to the core of decision making for their social and dating life and empowering them by giving them the opportunity to make the first move. With women empowerment at the core of the dating application, the investment is close to Priyank’s own belief in how investing in women can help to achieve credible differences and is key to social transformation and economic growth. Currently the dating app is noted to have close to 55 million users across the globe.

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Anushka Sharma – Digit Insurance
Celebrated Indian actress Anushka Sharma is known to have invested in one of the upcoming start-ups and unicorns based in Bengaluru – Digit Insurance. Digit Insurance entered the Unicorn club in 2021 and is a new age insurance company offering easy solutions for many types of insurances. This fintech start-up received an investment of close to INR 2.5 crore from Anushka Sharma and her husband in 2020. They both jointly own 0.25% of the shares of the company. It has been noted that Anushka Sharma made an investment of INR 50 lakh in digit insurance and INR 2 crore has been made by her husband and Indian cricketer, Virat Kohli. 

Their investments in Digit were part of the $84 million funding round that was led by A91 partners, Faering Capital and TVS Capital.

Digit Insurance is an insurance start-up that is also backed by Canada based Fairfax Group and has claimed to have a customer base of close to five million achieving close to $300 million annualized premium. 

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Mouni Roy – Ultimate Guru’s
A well known television figure and Bollywood actress, Mouni Roy’s latest investment with her husband is in the EdTech field. The newly married couple has recently announced the launch of their global Edtech start-up – Ultimate Gurus – a global education platform. This new-age subscription based platform is aimed at being interactive and educational so as it allows users to learn and upskill their crafts while learning from expert leaders, i.e. ‘Gurus’. The application has both pre-recorded courses as well as live sessions.

They aim to revolutionize learning (particularly online), by only having leading personalities deliver lectures in various fields. The application went live on 25th Feb, 2022 offering its users not only sessions but also supplementary workbooks for practical learning. Mouni in one of her interviews for the launch also mentioned how she could have used some leading personality for advice while growing as an actress and claims that Ultimate Gurus will be an ideal platform to build a community that offers the right direction from the best in business. 

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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – Possible
The former Miss World, 1994 and India’s finest actress, Aishwarya Rai has recently expanded her investment portfolio into a nutrition based healthcare brand named ‘Possible’. She has invested INR 5 crore in the brand as part of its funding round wherein there were investments made by high net individuals and interstitial investors.

While these new investments offer stake from the company, Possible is backed by Kalaari Capital – that is also noted to hold the same stake post these investments.

The brand Possible was founded in 2015 and is a research based nutrition service brand that offer services aiding in management of lifestyle diseases, weight loss and sustainable health. The brand offers customized plans for its users that also include a personal coach.

Possible is not Aishwarya’s only investment, she has been known to be an angel investor to Ambee, an environment intelligence startup.

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Katrina Kaif – Nykaa
The british origin actress has surely made her mark in Bollywood over the past decade and is one of the few to launch her own range of beauty products with a leading e-commerce platform a few years ago. In 2018, Katrina Kaif entered into a joint venture with Nykaa to set up and launch her own line of cosmetics – Kay Beauty. The venture was collectively coined as Nykaa-KK Beauty. Post the success of the launch of her own line, Kaif went on to invest an amount close to INR 2 crore (approx.) in Nykaa’s parent company. With Nykaa’s IPO launch and going public less than a year ago, the actress’s investment has been multiplied 10 times. It has been noted today the value of her investment is close to INR 22 crores (approx.).

Nykaa is a leading beauty brand with its base offering over its e-commerce and application platform and products ranging from beauty, cosmetics, fashion, wellness, lifestyle and accessories. 

Deepika Padukone – Blu Smart
The leading lady of Indian cinema is known to her hands full with investments in multiple tech based start-ups that are in their own way game-changers of their own sector. One of Ms. Padukone’s investments is an e-mobility start-up, Blu Smart. The brand works on offering affordable electric taxis in the Delhi-NCR region. She is known to be one of the primary investors in Blu Smart.

The start-ups has raised $3 million in their angel round from Padukone’s family office – Ka Enterprises, JITO Angel Network, Survam Partners, Kalpavriksh Trust among few other investors.

Blu Smart is aimed at sustainable movement and to reduce traffic volumes plus pollution aiding to make cities healthier and more livable. The brand offers zero emission smart mobility in urban settings.

Deepika is also known to have investments in EdTech start-up – FrontRow, space tech start-up Bellatrix Aerospace, a private clothing label named All About You with Myntra, and in Drums Food (Epigamia).

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Some experts have noted that investments between men and women have also shown that while male celebrities may invest heavily in tech based start-ups, female celebrities tend to invest based on their core interests with a tendency to invest more in women based or minority owned businesses – leading them to cover a wide variety of industries. When leading female millionaires invest in other women and support other women, it builds a chain effect to build women up. 

Stay tuned for a focused article on leading self made female CEO’s from India.

 

 

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