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Indian Cricket Star’s Funded Startups

Startups : Once a cricketer nears retirement, speculations begin about his future; some choose to do what they do best – cricket as coaches, managers, mentors, selectors, etc., and others take the unconventional route. One such unconventional route that many cricketers of late have taken is investing in budding startups. Some people may feel that cricketers trying to invest in startups seems a bit out of their league, but you would be surprised to know that modern cricketers and the startup ecosystem have an inherent connection, as evident by the sponsors and brand associations in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Furthermore, Indian cricket team players have been the face of numerous brands over the years.

The Indian startup ecosystem is just another pitch for Indians to showcase their talent. Below we list cricketers turned businessmen who, with their sheer dedication, passion, and talent, have achieved the best in both fields:

Virat Kohli’s Universal Sportsbiz

Sportsbiz is a prominent Fashion startup that recently received funding of Rs. 19.3 crores by Cornerstone Sports LLP, representing Virat Kohli.

In fact, Virat Kohli and Cornerstone Sports firm hold a total of 4282 shares of the company. And the cost of each share is around Rs. 47,571 along with Rs 10 of nominal value. 

Founded in 2012 by Anjana Reddy, Universal Sportbiz has forged multiple partnerships with famous sports and movie personalities to co-create apparel brands, which are sold to customers via online and offline channels. It has previously collaborated with Kohli for his fashion brand Wrogn.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Khatabook

Popularly known as ‘Captain Cool’, former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has donned the hat of an investor by infusing capital in multiple startups. Dhoni invested an undisclosed amount in the Bengaluru-based business ledger app Khatabook. Besides investing in that startup, he has also become its brand ambassador. 

Khatabook was launched in 2018, and the company has raised $87 Mn from investors such as Sequoia Capital’s Surge, partners of DST Global, Falcon Edge Capital, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, Tencent Holdings, Better Capital as well as angel investors such as Cred founder Kunal Shah, Snapdeal co-founder Rohit Bansal.

Yuvraj Singh’s Healthians

After successfully combating a cancerous tumour in his left lung, Yuvraj Singh started his foundation, YouWeCan. YouWeCan Ventures, one of the entities of the YouWeCan Foundation, supports entrepreneurs. Started in 2013, YouWeCan Ventures invested aggressively in 10-11 startups. One of the most promising among these investments was Healthians, founded in 2015 by Deepak Sahni, a serial entrepreneur with a passion for new-age diagnostics.

Healthians is a technology-driven D2C healthcare ser­vice that offers pathology testing and follows it up with advice and consultation for screening, monitoring and checkup. At present, Healthians is amongst India’s leading ‘health test at home’ service providers. The company currently owns and operates through a network of over 30 government-certified labs and is expanding swiftly. Healthians has also been recognised for its constant efforts and endeavours in the healthcare space. 

Gautam Gambhir’s FYI Health

Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir also stepped into the field of investments. Gambhir has invested an undisclosed amount in a health tech startup, FYI Health, a company dedicated to developing solutions for offices as they reopen post the pandemic. 

FYI Health works on educating employees at workplaces primarily focuses on conducting daily health checkups in offices.

Sourav Ganguly

Former India captain and Board for Control of Cricket In India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly invested an undisclosed amount in an Edtech startup, ClassPlus. He has also been appointed as its brand ambassador.

ClassPlus was founded in 2018 by Mukul Rustagi and Bhaswat Agarwal. The Delhi NCR-based startup provides mobile-first software for coaching institutes, tuition centres, and private tutors to set up online classes.

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