Actor Ayushmann Khurrana invests in lifestyle firm The Man Company
Ayushmann Khurrana | Photo Credit: Reuters

Helios Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, a startup that sells grooming products under the brand The Man Company, has raised funding from actor Ayushmann Khurrana, it tweeted on Tuesday.

The company didn’t disclose the amount it raised from Khurrana, but several reports said that the investment is part of a larger partnership with the actor taking up the role of brand ambassador as well. This is the first time he has made such an investment, the company said, according to Inc42.

The Man Company founder and managing director Hitesh Dhingra said it will use the funds raised for branding purposes and to increase its presence across the country.

VCCircle has reached out to The Man Company on the details of the investment and will update this report accordingly.

Khurrana said he considered The Man Company to be an inclusive brand with good business insights and strengths, according to digital media publication YourStory.

The Gurugram-based company was founded by Dhingra, Rohit Chawla, Parvesh Bareja and Bhisham Bhateja. It launched The Man Company brand in 2015. It offers a head-to-toe range of men’s premium grooming products in bath and body, beard management, shaving and perfume category.

The startup had secured an undisclosed amount in funding from angel investors, including Microsoft India’s managing director Karan Bajwa, in September 2015.

The Kolkata-based fast-moving consumer goods maker Emami owns a 30% stake in Helios. In December 2017, it said that it had already bought 20.45% of the company and that it would purchase the remaining by the end of December 2018.

Celebrities turn investors

There has been a growing number of bets made on startups by celebrities, whether as part of a strategic partnership or more traditional equity investments.

For example, last month, actor Deepika Padukone’s family office Ka Enterprises LLP took part in a $3 million (around Rs 21.22 crore) angel funding round in electric taxi startup Blu Smart.

Padukone is a serial investor; in June, her office was among a clutch of investors that funded a $3 million (around Rs 21 crore) pre-Series A round in Bellatrix Aerospace, an Indian Institute of Science-incubated space-technology startup. Similarly, in May, the actor made an investment in Drums Food International Pvt. Ltd, which sells yoghurt under the Epigamia brand.

In June, actor Akshay Kumar and cricketer Kapil Dev invested in wearable fitness devices maker GOQii and legal services marketplace WizCounsel respectively. That month, Zorba Renaissance Pvt. Ltd, which operates the Sarva chain of yoga studios, raised over $4 million (Rs 27 crore) from a clutch of individual investors, including Bollywood actors Shahid Kapoor and Malaika Arora, and Hollywood singer-actor Jennifer Lopez.

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