The last couple of years have seen a stream of celebrities turning into startup investors. These stars have proven that their talent does go beyond looking good in front of the camera or on the field and they are ready to use their fame and access to grow their millions outside of their traditional comfort zones. From retail to aerospace to fitness, Indian celebrities are keen to own a pie in the country's startup ecosystem, both global and local.
Leading from the front is Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone, whose family office KA Enterprises has invested in Greek yogurt company Epigamia, furniture rental platform Furlenco and electric mobility startup BluSmart amongst others.
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has shown his flair off the field with tech startup Smartron and Universal Sportbiz. Following his footsteps is Virat Kohli who owns stakes in Sport Convo, a London-based social networking startup and Bangalore-based gym chain called Chisel, apart from his very successful clothing line Wrogn.
Not far behind is former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni who has invested in Cars24 and RunAdam.
Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan is well known as one of the investors in new-age wellness brand Cure.fit and country's current heartthrob Ayushmann Khurrana recently invested in The Man Company. And then, of course, the big daddy Amitabh Bachchan who has been an investor in Just Dial and now has backed ed-tech startup Eduisfun.
While this trend of celebrity investors does not come as a surprise nor is it a new one, global stars like Ashton Kutcher, Nas, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake are investors in Silicon Valley ventures like Airbnb, Tidal, Spotify, Dropbox and Lyft to name a few.
However, the fact that the role and equity of a star is moving beyond brand endorsements is an interesting trend and one that promises to only grow here on. CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to a group of startups and discussed this growing trend of celebrity investors.