Akshay Kumar invests in GOQii as Kapil Dev bats for legal marketplace WizCounsel
Akshay Kumar | Photo Credit: Reuters

Actor Akshay Kumar and former India cricket captain Kapil Dev have joined the growing list of celebrities investing in startups.

Kumar has invested an undisclosed amount in GOQii Inc. as part of the Series C funding round of the wearable fitness devices maker. He will also be GOQii’s brand ambassador, the California-based startup said in a statement.

Founded in 2014 by Vishal Gondal, GOQii offers a digital health and fitness subscription service that combines one-on-one mobile personal coaching and fitness tracking technology to help its users shift to a healthier lifestyle, according to information on its website.

Separately, Dev led a Rs 1 crore ($145,000) angel funding round in WizCounsel, an online marketplace for freelance legal, tax and accounting experts.

Other participants in the round include Sunil Kumar Gupta, the founder and chairman of business consulting firm SARC Associates and Manas Fuloria, the chief executive officer and founder of information technology consultancy firm Nagarro, the startup said in a statement.

WizCounsel, operated by Blizzcraft Infotech Pvt. Ltd, said it would use the funds for marketing and sales purposes, as well as to strengthen its operations.

“People still look for professional services the way they used to 15 years back and professionals still develop a business the same way,” founder and CEO Ranu Gupta said, adding that the legal services industry needed improvements in terms of speed, convenience and affordability.

Separately, Dev said there was a need for a platform for legal services so that people could interact with experts more confidently.

Founded earlier this year, WizCounsel helps people hire legal service professionals based on their needs and budget. The platform offers services such as filing income taxes to outsourcing legal and accounting work. Gupta said the company’s vision is to create an open and affordable tax, legal and compliance ecosystem.

The investment in WizCounsel comes around four months after legal-technology startup SpotDraft raised $1.5 million (around Rs 11 crore) in a pre-Series A round of funding led by venture capital firm 021 Capital, which is backed by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal.

Gurugram-based SpotDraft offers technology-based solutions for complex legal dealings, including drafting, managing and storing paperwork online, analysing contracts and automating invoices, besides sending reminders and advice on legal compliance.

Investments by celebrities

The investments by Kumar and Dev are the latest examples of celebrities funding startups across sectors.

Earlier this 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.

Last month, actor Deepika Padukone invested in greek yogurt brand Epigamia while actor and producer Suniel Shetty invested an undisclosed amount in Pune-based fitness and nutrition startup Squats.

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