While the startup ecosystem, Indian or global, has no dearth of angel investors, Bollywood actors too have been doing their bit. Quantico star Priyanka Chopra has become a tech investor in a coding education startup Holberton School, and in the dating and social media app Bumble.
Chopra has said that her intentions for tech investments would lean mostly toward startups with a propensity of social impact as well as companies founded by women.
“A new chapter for me! I am so excited to partner with Bumble and Holberton School as an investor. I’m honoured to join two companies that strive to expand gender diversity in the tech space, and make a social impact for the greater good… let’s do this,” Chopra tweeted.
The starlet recently visited the San Francisco headquarters of Holberton School, whose campus, according to The New York Times, is more akin to a WeWork than a school. The school is replacing traditional methods of teaching software with more modern approaches, such as a relaxed environment, projects, and group learning. “You just hang out and you’re learning. It’s amazing,” Chopra told The New York Times.
The Bollywood star has also announced her second investment in the dating app Bumble, founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, a well-known startup founder in tech. Chopra is planning to help in the promotion of launching Bumble in India soon. “Geeks are taking over the world, if they haven’t already,” she added.
Chopra’s interest in tech investing was kindled by her manager Anjula Acharia, who has worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence and partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Trinity Ventures.
With these tech investments, Chopra joins the likes of Hollywood male actor-turned tech investors such as Ashton Kutcher, Carmelo Anthony and Nas, and Leonardo DiCaprio. On the home front, last year, Alia Bhatt was seen taking a minority stake in fashion tech startup StyleCracker. Shekhar Kapur and A.R. Rehman have invested in Qyuki Digital.
Cricket, which is hardly lacks glamour quotient in India, has also produced tech investors, such as Yuvraj Singh, whose YouWeCan Ventures Technology LLP seed funds and angel funds capital stretching from INR 10-25 lakh. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar too is known to have invested in many startups.
Other examples from collaboration of startups and cricket or Bollywood stars are Sourav Ganguly’s investment in Flickstree; singing sensation Shaan’s 50% investment in Happydemic; Suniel Shetty’s investment in Beardo; and TV star Anita Hassanandani’s investment in Bag Talk, suggesting that a celebrity name attached to startup can be a brand promotion strategy in itself as well.