Indian startups are a massive opportunity. Last year in 2021, more than 40 Indian startups became unicorns and some of these billion-dollar valuations meant massive ROIs for these startup investors. Now in the past, these investors consisted almost exclusively of VC firms and sometimes angel investors with an entrepreneurship background, but these days the profile of these angel investors is changing a bit; we’re starting to see other types of angels making investments in Indian startups.
And so in this article, we’re going to be talking about the top 10 Bollywood actors and actresses that have made investments in the Indian startups and also startups outside of India in the the last couple of years, coming up right after this. So starting things off at number 10 in the list of Top 10 Bollywood Celebrity Investors in Startups.
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10. Varun Dhawan
Varun is one of the highest-paid actors in the country and he ventured into the world of entrepreneurship with the launch of his own clothing line called the Dhawan and only in 2018. Then in 2021, he started his journey as an angel investor by funding a nutrition supplement brand Fast&Up. Following this early in 2022, Varun also invested in multi-brand cloud kitchen startup cure foods and became the brand ambassador of their flagship brand eats fit. Next up at number 9 in the list of Top 10 Bollywood Celebrity Investors in Startups we have Malaika Arora.
9. Malaika Arora
Who is known for her fashion and her healthy lifestyle. So back in 2019, she kicked off her entrepreneurial journey with an investment in the yoga and wellness startup ‘Sarva’ while also taking up the role of co-founder. Then in 2021, she launched her own delivery-only food brand called ‘Nude Bowls’ on food delivery platform Eat Sure. Since then, the actress has also launched ‘Malaika Arora Ventures’ to invest in startups in the lifestyle, health and wellness markets and she’s also invested in d2c ayurvedic nutrition brand ‘Kapila’ while also becoming their brand ambassador. Next up, at number 8 in the list of Top 10 Bollywood Celebrity Investors in Startups we have Akshay Kumar.
8. Akshay Kumar
Who is the only Indian actor to be featured in the top 10 Forbes richest actors of 2020 list. He made 48.5 million dollars that year and has worked in the Indian film industry for over 30 years. In 2009 he was honored with ‘Padma Shri’ which is India’s fourth high civilian award for his contributions to Indian cinema and in that same year he launched his production company ‘Hari Om Entertainment.
Then in 2012, he launched another ‘Grazing Goat Pictures. So he has a decent amount of experience as an entrepreneur and today he’s using his expertise and wealth to fund Indian startups. In 2019 he invested an undisclosed amount in wearable fitness brand ‘GOQii’ while also becoming its brand ambassador and then in 2020 he along with fellow actor Rana Dagubatti launched celebrity-led online learning platform Social Swag.
7. Anushka Sharma
She and her brother Karnesh Sharma entered the world of entrepreneurship in 2013 with the launch of a production house called clean slates film and then in 2017, she launched her clothing brand ‘Nush’. she served as a brand ambassador for several companies over the years too and today she’s funding Indian startups as an investor.
Back in 2020 Anushka and her husband Virat Kohli invested 2.5 crore rupees into insurtech unicorn ‘Digit Insurance’. Then earlier this year in 2022 Anushka and Virat also invested in plant-based meat startup blue tribe. Next up at number 6 in the list of Top 10 Bollywood Celebrity Investors in Startups we have Alia Bhatt
6. Alia Bhatt
In 2022 according to duff and Phelps report Alia Bhatt was named the fourth most valuable celebrity brand in India with a valuation of 68.1 million dollars. In 2020 she launched her own environmentally friendly kidswear brand ‘Ed A Mamma’ and was able to grow ‘Ed A Mamma’ 10x in the first 10 months reaching a valuation of a hundred and fifty crore rupees.
All the way back in 2017 though she was investing in Indian startups her first investment was into an online personal styling platform called style cracker then in 2020 Alia invested 4.95 crore rupees into omnichannel beauty and wellness marketplace ‘Nykaa’ which was one of her most successful investments that 4.95 crore rupees had turned into 54 crore rupees by the time ‘Nykaa’ went public then last year in 2021 she invested an undisclosed amount into d2c wellness startup ‘Phool’.
5. Priyanka Chopra
She’s won multiple awards throughout her career including Padma Shri in 2016 and like many of the names on this list, Priyanka launched her own production company called ‘Purple Pebble Pictures’ in 2015 to promote small-budget regional films. last year in 2021, she launched a restaurant
called ‘Sona’ in new york and earlier this year in 2022 she launched a vegan haircare brand called anomaly in the united states she made her first investment in 2018 into a college alternative a startup called the Holberton school and that same the year she invested in online dating startup bumble and also helped them to launch in India and she also invested in the online apartment listing marketplace apartment list as well.
4. Farhan Akhtar
Farhan began his journey as an entrepreneur before he started his career as an actor and as a director. see back in 1999 Farhan along with Ritesh Sidhwani had set up a production company called excel entertainment and it was under this the production house that he made his directorial debut with a 2001 film called Dil Chahta hai and then as an actor in 2008 with rock on.
Over the years this production house has released a bunch of successful movies and so now Farhan is able to use some of his wealth to support other Indian entrepreneurs. In 2016 he made his first investment into film discovery app flick bay then into Indian beer brand Bira 91 and then more recently in 2021 ola electric. Next up at number 3 in the list of Top 10 Bollywood Celebrity Investors in Startups we have Amitabh Bachchan.
3. Amitabh Bachchan
50 years in Bollywood Amitabh has acted in more than 200 movies throughout his career and he’s won numerous awards too however many people now forget that there was a time in the 90s when things slowed down a bit in his acting career and Amitabh had to take things into his own hands by launching a production and event management company called Amitabh Bachchan corporation in 1995.
Their first year of operations was successful and profitable and so the company grew ambitious but ended up in debt and went bankrupt in 1999 and Amitabh himself almost went bankrupt too in the the process so he understands very well the struggles and challenges of being an entrepreneur, which is one of the reasons why he’s been so active as an investor. back in 2011, Amitabh invested 6.27 lakh rupees into ‘just dial’ and saw a 100x return his investment was worth 6.45 crore rupees in 2013 when the company went public in 2019 he followed this up by investing in an edtech startup called Edu is fun and then in 2022 he funded a merchandise startup ‘Macmerise Celfie Design’.
2. Suniel Shetty
Who has been working in India’s film industry for over 30 years he’s been an actor in over a hundred movies and began his entrepreneurial career with the launch of a clothing brand called mischief which he started with some friends. he ended up shutting that down a few years after it was started but kept the brand name alive with the launch of his own restaurant mischief dining bar along with club h2o in Mumbai.
Since then he’s launched multiple successful businesses including a production company, popcorn motion pictures in 2002 a luxury homes real estate business s2 realty and developers and a luxury furniture and home lifestyle business our house with his wife Mana Shetty in 2013. using the wealth that he’s brought in from his career as an actor and as a business person Sunil has been able to invest in several Indian startups including fitness platform fitter in 2019 health-tech startup Vieroots and Edtech venture sci estate management and skills institute in 2020 and protein water brand Aquatein in 2022.
1. Deepika Padukone
Apart from her acting career Deepika launched a clothing line for women in association with Van Heusen in 2013. then later on in 2015, she launched her fashion brand all about you in collaboration with myntra and she ended up selling this brand of myntra in 2020 for an undisclosed amount and is now using her wealth to build a robust startup investment portfolio in partnership with an investment banker.
Nitin Kanchan founded ka enterprises in 2017 to streamline all of her investments in the first After 18 months of setting up ka enterprises Deepika invested in furniture rental startup furlenco and beauty brand purple since then she’s invested in seven more startups across multiple domains including space tech startup Bellatrix aerospace and yoga brand Epigamia in the 2019 electric ride healing startup blu smart and online learning platform for non-academic skills front row in 2020 and online pet store super tails and d2c women’s wellness brand Nua in 2021.