Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has made an investment in Drum Foods International Pvt Ltd, the maker of flavoured yogurt brand Epigamia, as part of a strategic partnership that will also see her endorse the brand. The investment will be used by the firm to expand into new products and enter new cities, the company said in a press statement.
“This investment is an extension of the recently closed Series C round of funding led by Verlinvest, a Belgium-based consumer-focused investment firm, Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture investment arm of one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, and DSG Consumer Partners, an Asia focused VC fund,” the statement said.
Launched in June 2015, Epigamia is currently available in 20 stock keeping units (SKUs) under greek yogurt, artisanal curd, snack pack, mishti doi and smoothies. The flavoured yogurt brand retails in about 10,000 touch points and aims to scale up to 50,000 outlets in a few years.
Rohan Mirchandani, Co-Founder, Epigamia said, “we are super excited to welcome Deepika into the Epigamia family as a partner and a shareholder. Deepika’s massive reach and appeal with the health-conscious youth of India will help the brand scale to another level”. As part of the deal, Padukone will own equity in Drum Foods.
The company, however, declined to share the details of her investment. Commenting on this new association with the brand, Padukone said, “I am thrilled to join the Epigamia family. Not only do I love the products but also connect very strongly with the brand philosophy.
The team has big plans for expansion and I am excited to be closely involved as we roll out new products and enter new cities.” The investment by Padukone is latest in the series of celebrities funding startups and ventures across sectors. Last week, Bollywood actor and producer Suniel Shetty invested in Pune-based fitness and nutrition startup Squats.
Amitabh Bachchan has invested in local search service platform Just Dial Ltd while Priyanka Chopra has funded networking and dating app Bumble, run by Bumble Trading Inc. Reports suggest that as many as 32 celebrities have invested in 67 startups and other companies.
The Padmavat actress is India’s second most valued celebrity brand after Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli. Padukone, who has her own online label – All About You, currently endorses several high-value brands, such as Coca-Cola, Axis Bank, Vistara, Kellogg’s, Vogue, Tissot, Van Heusen, Tanishq and Nike.