Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone dons investor hat
Within 18 months of setting up KA Enterprises, which manages Padukone’s family office, it has backed startups like online furniture rental platform Furlenco, and beauty products marketplace Purplle. Now the latest investment is Epigamia — a yogurt maker backed by French food products giant Danone.
While Padukone co-owns apparel private label All About You with Myntra, her other investments in startups have not been in the public domain so far. Nitin Kanchan, a former investment banker, is the CEO of KA Enterprises and manages these investments for the actor, who commands a brand value of $100 million, according to Duff and Phelps.
Incidentally, unlike typical investments from high net worth individuals or family offices, Kanchan said Padukone’s investments go beyond providing capital and that they work together with the companies over strategic decisions, including the option of leveraging Padukone’s brand overseas among the Indian diaspora. In the next two months, KA Enterprises plans to close a couple of more additional investments.
“This is a unique business proposition. The idea here is going beyond just the face of a celebrity. The companies get brand of Padukone, capital of Padukone and the business understandings. These three pillars together — you won’t find in any other family office (investments),” said Kanchan. He declined to comment on the size of investment the firm makes in these startups, but added “it’s a serious play of multi-crores”.
The latest investments by Padukone, the only female in the top five highest-earning celebrity list of Forbes in 2018, mirrors her Hollywood counterparts like Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jay-Z, U2 frontman Bono, and Edward Norton who have backed several startups, including ride-hailing giant Uber and music application Tidal.
In the past, cricketers or film actors have become the face of multiple startups by way of the usual brand ambassador arrangement, or taking an equity in the startup for being its public face. Investments by Padukone stand out as they are cash infusions into the company like other financial investors.
Epigamia said it will work with Padukone to expand into new products and enter new cities, apart from leveraging Padukone’s reach as the brand’s face. Purplle co-founder Manish Taneja confirmed Padukone had invested in the company when it last raised about $6 million from investors. Furlenco founder and CEO Ajith Mohan Karimpana did not respond to calls and text messages sent by TOI.
“Just like Danone backing us has helped us scale up the manufacturing and supply-chain matters, Padukone’s investment will help us on the brand side. The idea is not to just to interact at a transactional level but bring in her expertise on brand-building as well,” said Epigamia CEO Rohan Mirchandani. He added the company could, in the long term, explore leveraging Padukone’s brand in the overseas market.
Source: ET Tech