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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Bollywood star Deepika Padukone’s skincare startup attracts VC backing • TechCrunch


Deepika Padukone’s skincare startup 82°E, pronounced Eighty Two East, said Wednesday it has raised $7.5 million in seed funding, as the Bollywood star becomes the latest high-profile celebrity to enter the startup world.

DSG Consumer Partners and IDEO Ventures are among those who backed 82°E, said the startup, which began offering self-care products such as moisturisers and sunscreen drops to consumers in over 30 countries last month.

82°E says its products are formulated in-house by R&D experts and feature “time-tested Indian ingredients.”

“Jigar [Shah, the other co-founder] and I envisioned this brand as an extension of my personal as well as professional journey,” said Padukone in a statement.

“We set out to launch products which are high-quality, high-performing and an authentic reflection of my beliefs and practices. In this endeavour, we aim to make the practice of self-care simple, joyful and effective for all. With our launch category of skincare products, we have rigorously sourced, carefully crafted and clinically tested our products to achieve lasting results. I am honoured to have investors of global repute join us in our vision to establish 82°E as a modern self-care brand born in India for the world.”

The tech-savvy star, who is among the highest paid actresses in India, has emerged as a prolific investor in recent years. In 2017, she launched KA Enterprises, a fully-owned holding company, with which she has backed several startups including unicorn online beauty store Purplle, satellite, aerospace manufacturing firm Bellatrix, yoghurt firm Epigamia and pet store Supertails.

Bollywood stars and cricketers including Shahid Kapoor, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Priyanka Chopra have made over a dozen investments in recent years, sometimes in a sweat equity arrangement where they endorse the brand and collect part of the fee as shares.

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