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Angel Ambassadors: Celebrity route to success

Put your money where your face is – Deepika Padukone represents a rising brigade of celebrities who want more than just screen time.


HEAD SHOT

  1. Leading actress Deepika Padukone made an investment in Drum Foods International, manufacturer of popular flavoured yogurt brand Epigamia.
  2. As part of the strategic partnership, Padukone will own equity in Drum Foods and also endorse the brand.
  3. Deepika’s latest business stance is part of a changing trend where celebrities aren’t just interested in being faces, but part of the journeys of brands.


On boarding an A-list star who also invested in the company, Indian yogurt brand Epigamia received a massive lift from its freshest Series C round. Not just the money but the person who invested the money – leading Bollywood actress and one of India’s biggest celebrity brands Deepika Padukone.

As part of Epigamia’s series C funding round Deepika Padukone became an equity investor in the company as well as its brand ambassador. The smart investment by the actress was made the through her family company KA Enterprise, which she formulated in 2017 to leverage her brand image for upcoming startups.

Padukone’s investment which is a more evolved form of strategic backing isn’t just about the brand leveraging the actor’s image and remunerating her instead. The agreement brings Deepika a part of the brand, and a stakeholder in its fortunes. Investing her money means investor/ brand ambassador is serious about staying committed to values of the brand.



Padukone’s new business interest

Part of the value-added dairy products brand Drum Food, Epigamia was launched in 2015 and sells variety of premium dairy products.

In January 2019, Epigamia made it big in the startup arena when it raised over $25 million in a Series C round of investment. The funding included investment from Danone Manifesto Ventures, investment arm of the global dairy giant Danone.


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Deepika Padukone’s rising star and shining brand value is the biggest positive for Epigamia in its newest funding series. | Credits: DKODING Intelligence

Padukone’s investment is part of the same Series C round. On her association with the brand, Padukone said,

“I am thrilled to join the Epigamia family. Not only do I love the products but also connect very strongly with the brand philosophy. The team has big plans for expansion and I am excited to be closely involved as we roll out new products and enter new cities.”

Not just star power, funds and brains too

Epigamia co-founder Rohan Mirchandani opines that although the company hasn’t done significant mass media marketing so far, but with the addition of Padukone, this will change soon. Epigamia intends to leverage Padukone sensational fanbase to take the brand to the next level.

He added that Padukone may feature in its advertisements by the end of the calendar year. About the prospects of Deepika coming in as a strategic investor, and brand ambassador, Rohan exclaimed:

“We are super excited to welcome Deepika into the Epigamia family as a partner and a shareholder. Deepika’s massive reach and appeal with the health-conscious youth of India will help the brand scale to another level”.

Deepika Padukone’s deal with the yogurt brand clubs two crucial aspects: business investor and brand ambassador. The actress is India’s second most valued celebrity brand behind cricketer Virat Kohli.



Apart from owning her own online fashion label All About You, Padukone endorses over 20 premium brands like Coca-Cola, Axis Bank, Vistara, Kellogg’s, Vogue, Tissot, Van Heusen, Tanishq and Nike.

At $102.5 million, she is one of only two Indian celebrities that have a brand value above the 100$ million mark (other being Virat Kohli) as per a celebrity brand valuation report by Duff and Phelps.



New lifestyle of the Glamourous – Invest in Startups

India’s Bollywood stars are picking the cue from their Hollywood counterparts. In the recent years, American celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Nas, Jay-Z, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Timberlake, among others, have invaded the Silicon Valley investing in a number of tech-based startups.

India boasts of the third largest tech startup ecosystem of the world. And now the third largest film industry in the world is interested in the prospects and opportunities it presents.

In the last few years, as many as 32 Indian celebrities have invested in 67 startups. Indian celebrities are no more just faces; they now wish to be the brains behind brands.


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Deepika’s investment in Epigamia is part of a rising trend where celebrities are not just putting their faces on brands but actively investing in the fortunes of the brands’ success. | Credits: DKODING Intelligence

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan recently invested in local search service platform Just Dial and cloud-based service Ziddu. Global star Priyanka Chopra funded female-centric networking app Bumble. Actor Suniel Shetty invested in Pune-based fitness startup Squats.

Veteran actors Madhuri Dixit and Karishma Kapoor have invested in wearable and preventive healthcare devices startup GOQii and e-tailer for baby products BabyOye respectively. TV star Ranvijay Singh has stakes in carpooling app Liftiee and Boman Irani backs sports social media platform Rooter.

Moviemaker Farhan Akhtar has interests in movie discovery platform Flickbay and critically acclaimed actor Manoj Bajpai has invested in OTT platform Muvizz.



Globally known stars like Shahrukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkarand MS Dhoni have a history of holding interests in multiple investments. SRK and Tendulkar literally are the patrons of this kind of strategic partnerships, having stakes in multiple brands on which they put their faces.  

Padukone herself is an active investor having earlier put her money in furniture rental company Furlenco and beauty marketplace Purplle.

Padukone’s investment is proof of the new trend in how Indian celebrities, their influence and their interests in the market and economy is changing over the years.

PARTING SHOT

  1. Deepika Padukone is India’s second biggest celebrity brand by value, thus bringing an unparalleled combination to the table.
  2. Indian celebrities have taken the cue from Hollywood counterparts who have been actively investing in many Silicon Valley based startups.
  3. Rising interest in entrepreneurship from Bollywood faces has seen at least 32 Indian celebrities invest in 67 startups.


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