Friday, August 22, 2014

11 Indian startups backed by Bollywood celebrities

Your Story Article - Abhas Kumar

When JustDial announced its IPO in June last year, VSS Mani heaved a sigh of relief. A14-year long dream of having his company listed had come to fruition. But a more interesting story is the one of an unexpected but well-known stakeholder making money off the IPO. JustDial had signed Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador in the fag-end of 2010.  He was given 62000-odd shares at a price of INR 10 each and he was roped in for a period of three years. On the day of the company’s listing, those shares were valued at INR 3.83Cr which shot up to more than INR 10 Cr early this year.
Most (certainly not all) actors just act. But smart actors have been putting their monies in startups. Ranging from big names like Salman Khan and AR Rehman, to Karisma Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and even Sunny Leone, are all invested in some or the other venture. These celebrities have either put in money or endorsed these products by becoming their brand ambassadors. While the monies that they invest definitely help, but the popularity factor that they bring into the fold is an unmatched advantage.
Let us look at some of these actors and their investee ventures.
Yatra Online is not exactly a startup today. But for the seven-year-old travel operator, backed by the American venture capitalists Norwest Venture Partners and Intel Capital, roping in Salman Khan, who has a knack of minting crores from all of his moviesis an interesting deal. Salman has a 5% stake in, which is an ad-for-equity deal. For the uninitiated, an ad-for-equity clause entails promoting and marketing the brand.

1. Salman Khan | | Being Human
Of course, all of us know about his highly popular ‘Being Human’ brand of T-shirts and watches, which is also an online shop.


2. Karishma Kapoor |
Did you know that Karisma Kapoor is the single largest individual shareholder in, the e-commerce store for baby products, owned by Nest Childcare Services Pvt. Ltd? Karisma has 26% stake in the company whose other investors include Accel Partners and Tiger Global. Company’s founders – Arunima Singhdeo and Sanjay Nadkarni, however, continue to own a majority stake in their startup.

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