Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has made an undisclosed investment in Drums Food International Pvt. Ltd, which sells yogurt under the brand Epigamia.
The capital will be used by the firm to expand into new products and enter new cities. Epigamia is currently available in 7,000 retail stores and it aims to scale up to 50,000 units in a few years.
"Our shared set of core values and beliefs is what drew us together and this bonding principle, along with Deepika’s involvement in our products and brand, will be extremely valuable for us," said Rohan Mirchandani, one of the co-founders.
This investment is an extension of the Series C round of funding led by Verlinvest, a Belgium-based consumer-focused investment firm, and Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture investment arm of French food group Danone.
"I am thrilled to join the Epigamia family. Not only do I love the products but also connect very strongly with the brand philosophy," said Padukone on the new association.
The company was founded in 2015 by Mirchandani, Ganesh Krishnamurthy and Uday Thakkar.
Epigamia is available in 20 stock-keeping units under Greek yogurt, artisanal curd, snack pack, mishti doi and smoothies. The brand retails across about 10,000 touch points including chains such as Reliance Fresh, Godrej Nature’s Basket, Future Group Foodhall, Big Bazaar and Hypercity.
It is also available on e-commerce platforms including BigBasket and Amazon; and across numerous general trade retailers in Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region), Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
Epigamia had raised its Rs 90 crore Series B round of funding in 2017 led by Verlinvest and DSG Consumer Partners and Rs 44.5 crore Series A funding the year before, led by Verlinvest.
The investment by Padukone is the latest example of celebrities funding startups and ventures across sectors. Last week, Bollywood actor and producer Suniel Shetty invested an undisclosed amount in Pune-based fitness and nutrition startup Squats.
Prior to that, the Zorba Renaissance Pvt. Ltd-run Sarva said it had raised its first round of external funding from a batch of investors, including pop star Jennifer Lopez and her fiancé Alex Rodriguez. Bollywood actor Malaika Arora also invested in the company.
Other examples include Amitabh Bachchan, who has invested in local search service platform Just Dial Ltd, and Priyanka Chopra, who has funded networking and dating app Bumble, run by Bumble Trading Inc.
Last year, VCCEdge, the data research arm of Mosaic Digital, as well as numerous media reports said that at least 32 celebrities had invested in as many as 67 startups and other companies.