India is known to have the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. According to Nascom report the country will have more than 50 unicorns by the end of 2021 and more the 100 by 2025. This growth has only been made possible because of the venture capitalists, angel investors, businessmen and high net worth individual that have been funding startups that have potential.
Bollywood celebrities like Alia Bhatt, Suniel Shetty, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sonu Sood have also been investing for the past few years to give their career another direction.
Deepika Padukone is one of highest paid actress in India and among the 100 most influential people in the world, according to 2018 Time Magazine. She is the daughter of Prakash Padukone who is a well-known badminton player in India.
Deepika Padukone is known for her work in movies like Om Shanti Om, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Piku, Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Cocktail, Chhapaak, etc. The actress has spoken up for issues such as Feminism and Depression, designed her own line of clothing called All About You and has been a celebrity endorser for brands and their products.
Besides that she is also the chairperson of the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image and also the founder of the Live Love Laugh Foundation bringing awareness about mental health.
Deepika Padukone is now not only an investor but is also involved with the brand strategic decisions. The actress investments are made through the KA Enterprises which is her family office, in which she is a co-director along with her father Prakash Padukone. Through KA Enterprises the actress has invested in many startups such as Epigamia which is a FMCG brand of yogurt products, FrontRow a hobby based EdTech startup, Blu Smart an electric taxi startup and even Bellatrix Aerospace which is an Indian spacetech startup.
List of Startups funded by Deepika Padukone
Bellatrix Aerospace is an Indian private aerospace manufacturer and a small satellite company that was established in 2015. The Spacetech startup was founded by Rohan M Ganapathy and Yashas Karanam and is based out of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The company is known to be evolving and growing in order to develop key technologies in electric propulsion, new generation propellants and launch vehicles. The company plans to launch its own rocket named Chetak in 2023, the specialty of this particular rocket is that it is powered by Aeon engines and that it uses liquid methane as fuel.
The Space tech startup has so far raised over $3 million in a Pre-Series A round from venture capitalists like IDFC Parampara, Karsemven Fund, StartupXseed, Survam Partners, and actress Deepika Padukone through KA enterprise, etc.
The funds generated will be used to expand its team and will help them demonstrate its thruster technology in space. The company has also partnered with Skyroot Aerospace in February, 2021. The Bengaluru based startup is now reviewing NASA and European Space Agency standards in order to make their tech reach the global standards. The company aims to build its own launch vehicle and make water based propulsion systems.
The startup is currently working on building an electric based propulsion system which is the Microwave Plasma Thrusters (MPT). This supposedly will help their clients to take bigger payloads into space at a lower cost. The MPT propulsion system is also more ecofriendly, lightweight and costs less than compared to the chemical propulsion system. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) is now on board to help develop this technology. According to the founder Rohan Ganapathy, Bellatrix will soon be setting up its offices in the US and Europe.
Blu Smart is an electric taxi startup founded in October 2018 by Puneet Singh Jaggi, Anmol Singh Jaggi and Punit K Goyal. The startup claims to so far have more than 20,000 customers in the Delhi NCR in just 3 months from its launch, scaling its ridesharing fleet to more than 200 electric cars. By 2019, the company has scaled to over 500 cars in Delhi and Mumbai making it the largest all electric B2C ridesharing company in India and top 3 in Asia.
The company is headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana; while it’s creating many job opportunities for drivers with a monthly revenue stream. Blu Smart is slowly transforming metropolitan cities in India by providing 100% electric, sustainable and most reliable mobility solutions.
Blu Smart is aiming to make an all-electric ecosystem with funding from venture capitalists and partnerships across automotive, infrastructure and energy companies. It also is planning to board more than 15,000 electric cars and 2500 chargers on the platform by the end of 2021.
The company generated $3 million funds from Deepika Padukone who invested through her family office KA enterprises, along with other investors like JITO Angel Network, Sanjiv Bajaj and Rajat Gupta from Bajaj Capital, Survam Partners and Rajesh Agarwal from Micromax.
According to Punit Goyal the co-founder of BluSmart,
“Blusmart is focused on providing superior mobility experience for its customers, cost savings, passenger safety and security. Our innovative mobility allows customers to travel whenever they want without the hassles of car ownership and stress of finding parking spots in densely populated urban areas.”
FrontRow is an edtech startup that is based in Bengaluru and Mumbai with a 20 member multi-disciplinary team. The company was founded by Shubhadit Sharma, Mikhil Raj and Ishaan Preet Singh who were executives from the startup ecosystem before coming together and starting FrontRow.
The Bengaluru based startup wants to make non-academic learning accessible and affordable for Indians in rural areas by getting funds from high profile investors. The company enables everyone to pursue their passion and learn from the best professional experts and celebrities.
FrontRow claims to be Building ecosystems around passions like comedy, cricket, dance, music, cricket and fitness among others. There is a huge demand for learning for non-academic subjects in India. Which is why each course it provides contains 15 to 25 video lessons available at affordable prices like Rs. 500.
These courses are taught by experts of that field like for example Singing is taught by Neha Kakkar, Standup Comedy taught by Biswa Kalyan Rath, Batting by Suresh Raina, Bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rap by Divine, Music composition by Amit Trivedi, etc.
Ishaan Preet Singh the founder of the startup says that they will be many more courses coming in 2021, and will also be doubling down on the categories. The company is bridging the gap between the urban and the rural cities by providing offline and online video lessons.
It is also allowing its users to participate in daily challenges, peer to peer interactions, collaboration opportunities and activities featuring celebrity’s judges also receive feedback and tips from their mentors. FrontRow is also planning to expand to other channels like B2B partnerships besides the D2C one.
The company is targeting hobby learning which is Ed-tech sector’s next big thing. This is why the company managed to raise a seed funding of $3.2 million from Investors like Lightspeed India, Elevation Capital and Deepika Padukone through KA Enterprise.
In an interview Deepika mentioned her reason behind funding this startup saying that,
“If there’s one thing I wish I had access to while growing up, it would be a platform like FrontRow, because its gives access to abundant knowledge in non-academic fields and connects them to a community of peers and professional of the fields of interest”
Epigamia is an FMCG startup that was launched by Rohan Mirchandani, Uday Thakker, Chef Ganesh Krishnamoorthy and Rahul Jain in 2015. The company first started out being a Greek Yogurt brand and then went on to expand its products to artisanal curd, snack pack, misti doi and even smoothies.
Epigamia markets its products through 21 different stock keeping units and 7000 retail stores which include Big Bazaar, Godrej Nature Basket, Big Basket, Amazon, Reliance Fresh in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
The company has so far created more than 21 different products and plans to scale all over India and enter 50,000 stores in the coming years. The FMCG market is currently over $1.2 billion dollars, over 6% of the orders come from metro cities ordering through online channels of the FMCG total sales.
The FMCG market in India is estimated over $104 billion in the year 2020 and is said to be growing at the rate of 28%. This is why Deepika Padukone decided to invest in the company in May 2019.
The company has so far raised $51 million from investors like Verlinvest, Danone Manifesto Ventures, DSG Consumer Partners and Deepika Padukone from KA Enterprise in the 3rd round of funding.
According to Rahul Jain the co-founder of Epigamia, the company aims to increase its consumer base and added that, “We believe that our association with Deepika Padukone will go a long way in making people aware of our brand and product. Deepika is a perfect fit to bring to life the brand ideology.”
In a recent interview the actress also stated that, “not only do I love the products that the company makes but also connect very strongly with the brand philosophy, the team has big plans for future expansions and I am excited to be closely involved as we make new products and enter new cities.”
The most recent products the company made was the Chocolate ghee spreads, which was marketed by Deepika Padukone as it she was her idea to mix ghee and chocolate together. Deepika along with Epigamia also made an Instagram challenge called #DigSwirlSpread which took instagram by the storm, advertising the company and its products instantly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Deepika Padukone?
Deepika Padukone is one of highest paid actress in India and among the 100 most influential people in the world according to 2018 Time Magazine.
What are the startups funded by Deepika Padukone?
Deepika Padukone has invested in many startups such as Epigamia which FMCG brand of yogurt products, FrontRow a hobby based edtech startup, Blu Smart an electric taxi startup and even Bellatrix Aerospace which is an Indian spacetech startup.
What is the clothing line of Deepika Padukone called?
The clothing line of Deepika Padukone is called All About You.
What is the net worth of Deepika Padukone?
The net worth of Deepika Padukone is Rs. 103 Crore.
What is the KA Enterprise?
KA Enterprises is the family office, in which she is a co-director along with her father Prakash Padukone. The actress funds startups through this office.