Bollywood’s association with Indian startup ecosystem just gets stronger. After Hrithik Roshan, Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty and others joined the startup bandwagon in different capacities, now popular actor and film producer Aamir Khan has invested $300K in online furniture rental platform Furlenco, in his personal capacity.
Founded by Ajith Karimpana in 2011, Bengaluru-based Furlenco is an online furniture renting platform offering home furniture on subscription basis in Bengaluru, Delhi – NCR, Mumbai and Pune.
The online furniture rental platform has raised $30 Mn in equity and debt funding from Lightbox Ventures, Hong Kong-based venture capital fund Axis Capital and others till date.
Bollywood’s Affair With Startups
Besides the Dangal star, recently leading actresses Alia Bhatt and Jacqueline Fernandez invested in fashion portal Stylecracker and juice maker and online portal Rakyan Beverages respectively. Among the early investors from Bollywood are Karishma Kapoor, Ajay Devgn and Shilpa Shetty. Karishma Kapoor had invested in a Kids clothing and accessories portal Babyoye in 2011.
Besides cricket stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, Bollywood stars’ endorsements have been counted as a big catalysing power for companies for a long time. Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan are some of the names who have been in demand for various brand endorsements.
However, for MS Dhoni and Aamir Khan, despite having strong brand images had to face flak in the past for different reasons. Former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni had to face people’s angst for his investments and endorsements of Amrapali Group’s Golf Home project which failed to ready the houses in time.
Aamir Khan, however, faced people’s anger for his ‘intolerance’ remarks made at Ramnath Goenka Awards event in 2015 which resulted in a huge loss for the brand Snapdeal of which he was a brand Ambassador.
Besides Snapdeal which soon delinked Aamir Khan from its brand after the fiasco, another startup Yepme has roped in popular filmmaker and actor Farhan Akhtar and Shahrukh Khan for its brand endorsements. Edtech startup BYJU and food portal Foodpanda has recently signed Shahrukh Khan for its brand endorsements.
Dangal star Aamir Khan, however, won’t endorse the online furniture rental platform Furlenco, reports VC Circle.