Celebrity Start-ups That Have Become Unicorns!

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Are you fascinated by the world of start-ups and the success stories behind them? Well, here’s something that might pique your interest even more – celebrity-backed start-ups that have become unicorns! Now, before we read about the celebs whose businesses has turned into unicorns, let’s first understand what does it mean by a “unicorn” company? 

Understanding the Unicorn Phenomenon

A unicorn company, as coined by venture capitalist Aileen Lee in 2013, refers to a privately held start-up valued at over USD 1 billion. These companies are rare, just like the mythical creature they are named after. Angel Investors like Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli play an essential role in the development of start-ups. They provide the initial capital and guidance necessary to transform these businesses into successful ventures.

The Power of Celebrity-backed Start-ups to Become Unicorns

The impact of celebrity-backed start-ups goes beyond financial investments. It provides robust credibility, a wider consumer base, and valuable brand association. With celebrities backing these ventures, they gain significant exposure and recognition.

Moreover, their endorsements act as a seal of trust for potential customers, making them more likely to engage with these start-ups. The combination of star power and entrepreneurial spirit is undeniably a winning formula. These ventures not only have the backing of famous personalities but have also achieved a valuation of over USD 1 billion. Let’s take a closer look at six such start-ups and the celebrities who have contributed to their success.

1. Upstox: Investing Made Easy

Investor: Shikhar Dhawan

Upstox is an investment platform that aims to make trading and investing accessible to all. The company gained unicorn status in November 2021 after securing a valuation of over USD 3 billion.

Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan made a strategic investment in Upstox in 2022, leveraging his financial acumen to support the platform. With his backing, Upstox continues to flourish in the competitive world of finance.

2. Spinny: Revolutionizing the Used Car Market

Investor: Sachin Tendulkar

Spinny, founded in 2015, is an online platform that deals with the buying and selling of used cars. In November 2021, the start-up joined the unicorn club with a valuation of USD 1.8 billion.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar not only became a strategic investor but also the lead brand endorser for Spinny in December 2021. His association with the company has solidified its position in the market and attracted a wide consumer base.

3. MyGlamm: Redefining Beauty Commerce

Investor: Shraddha Kapoor

MyGlamm, headquartered in Mumbai, is an online makeup brand that has disrupted the beauty industry. The company achieved unicorn status in November 2021, with a valuation of USD 1.2 billion.

In June 2021, Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor invested in MyGlamm, recognizing the brand’s potential and the growing demand for online beauty products. Her endorsement has boosted MyGlamm’s visibility and helped it reach new heights.

4. MPL: Gaming for the Masses

Investor: Virat Kohli

Mobile Premier League (MPL) is an online gaming platform that offers users the opportunity to participate in cash contests and tournaments. In September 2021, MPL became a unicorn with a valuation of USD 2.3 billion.

Cricketer Virat Kohli invested in MPL’s parent company, Galactus Funware Technology Pvt Ltd, in 2019. His association with the gaming platform has not only attracted users but also added credibility to MPL’s offerings.

5. Digit Insurance: A Digital Approach to Insurance

Investors: Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli

Digit Insurance, founded in 2016, provides innovative and user-friendly insurance solutions. It became a unicorn in January 2021 with a valuation of USD 1.9 billion.

Power couple Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli invested in Digit Insurance in 2020, recognizing the company’s potential in the digital insurance space. Their support has propelled the company’s growth and solidified its position in the market.

6. Cars24: A Hassle-free Car Buying Experience

Investor: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Cars24, founded in 2015, has simplified the process of buying and selling pre-owned cars. In November 2020, the company achieved unicorn status with a valuation exceeding USD 1 billion.

Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni not only became the brand ambassador for Cars24 but also owned equity in the company. His association with the start-up has helped Cars24 gain widespread recognition and establish itself as a trusted platform.

The Rise of Celebrity-backed Start-ups

The success of these celebrity-backed start-ups highlights the impact that stars from the world of cricket and showbiz can have on the start-up ecosystem. Their star power, combined with their business acumen, has catapulted these ventures to unicorn status. These celebs have not only invested their money but also lent their brand value, expertise, and network to these start-ups. The result? Unprecedented growth and success in the highly competitive market.


The rise of celebrity-backed start-ups that have become unicorns showcases the convergence of two worlds – entertainment and entrepreneurship. It signifies the growing influence of celebrities in the business ecosystem and highlights the symbiotic relationship between fame and start-up success. As more and more celebrities explore investment opportunities in the start-up space, we can expect further unicorns to emerge, creating a dynamic landscape of innovation and growth.

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