How Celebrities & HNIs Become Startup Saviors Amid Funding Winters?

Do you know which Bollywood celebrities have invested in startups this year and how Akshay Kumar and Alia Bhatt are extending their support to small businesses? Read on to know more!

Shreshtha Verma
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How Do Celebrities and HNIs High Net Worth Individuals Become Startup Saviors Amid Funding Winters

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As the Indian startup ecosystem faces its most challenging period in recent years, bollywood celebrities, high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) and veteran entrepreneurs have become the saviour of the new age entrepreneurs.

Funding Winters in India

A funding winter has taken hold, leaving startups grappling with a five-year low. In 2023 alone, a staggering 72% decline in funding has sent shockwaves through the industry, pushing investments into tech startups to a five-year low of $7 billion. India's global ranking has slipped from third to fourth place, accompanied by the registration of merely two new unicorns. The funding slowdown casts a shadow over the once-thriving startup landscape.

However, surprisingly, High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs) and celebrities have emerged as the ray of hope, breathing life into a struggling startup ecosystem. Despite the harsh funding conditions, these influential figures have stepped forward, providing a glimmer of hope for startup entrepreneurs navigating the challenging financial terrain.

HNIs Invest in Startups

The resilience of the startup ecosystem owes much to the strategic investments made by HNIs. Market intelligence platform, TheKredible, reports a noteworthy trend: HNIs have collectively made over 101 investments in 2023. Leading the charge is Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm, who has launched the VSS Investment Fund, a maiden fund with a substantial corpus of Rs 30 crore. The fund is set to target Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Electric Vehicle (EV)-related startups, signaling a strategic focus on cutting-edge technologies.

Nithin and Nikhil Kamath, the co-founders of Zerodha, are making waves with their commitment to Indian startups. Allocating an impressive Rs 1,000 crore through their investment firm Rainmatter Capital, the duo aims to fuel the growth of promising startups. Rainmatter Capital's existing portfolio includes diverse ventures such as Age Care Labs, Game Theory, and more, illustrating a comprehensive approach to startup support.

*Subheading 5: Celebrities Bring Star Power to Startup Investments, Alia Bhatt Takes the Lead*

As funding winters persist, celebrities are entering the startup investment arena, leveraging their influence and star power to bolster promising ventures. Alia Bhatt's endorsement of SuperBottoms, a sustainable diaper brand, showcases the potential for celebrities to drive awareness and consumer engagement in the increasingly competitive startup landscape.

Bollywood Celebrities Invest in Startups

The allure of celebrity backing extends beyond traditional sectors, with Akshay Kumar diversifying his investment portfolio. Backing Two Brothers Organic Farm, Kumar emphasizes sustainable agriculture—a move that aligns with growing global concerns about environmental sustainability. Meanwhile, Ranveer Singh's association with BoldCare, a men's sexual wellness brand, demonstrates celebrities' willingness to engage with diverse and sometimes unconventional industries.

The influx of celebrities into the startup ecosystem continues to gather momentum. Deepika Padukone, Dia Mirza, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and television mogul Ekta Kapoor are actively participating in startup investments, adding a star-studded touch to the entrepreneurial landscape. Their influence and reach are proving particularly valuable for Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) startups aiming to amplify their brand visibility and scale.

As the Indian startup ecosystem weathers the storm of funding winters, the proactive involvement of HNIs and celebrities emerges as a beacon of hope. Beyond injecting capital, these influential figures are shaping the narrative of resilience and adaptability, demonstrating that even in challenging times, the spirit of entrepreneurship can be reignited with strategic investments and star-studded support. The collaborative efforts of HNIs, celebrities, and startup entrepreneurs signal a promising trajectory for the revival and evolution of the Indian startup landscape.

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