Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has invested 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 has been made through KA Enterprises Llp, Padukone’s strategic initiative arm.
The investment is part of the Series C round raised by the company earlier this year, which also saw Danone Manifesto Ventures and Verlinvest, a Belgium-based consumer-focused investment firm, back the Mumbai-based packaged foods startup.
Epigamia, which makes flavoured yogurt, Greek yogurt, smoothies, and mishti doi, will use the money to scale up its presence across cities.
“Her (Padukone’s) involvement will accelerate the pace of reach for our products," said Rohan Mirchandani, co-founder, Drum Foods. As part of the deal, Padukone will own equity in Drum Foods. The company, however, declined to share the details of her investment.
Padukone, who has featured in films such as Bajirao Mastani and, more recently, Padmavat, is India’s second most valued celebrity brand after ace cricketer Virat Kohli.
As of 2018, Padukone who endorses over 20 brands had a brand value of $102.5 million, according to a celebrity brand valuation report by Duff and Phelps.
Epigamia is also looking to expand its products portfolio. “We have so far not done too much mass media advertisements. But on the basis of our association with Padukone, we are now looking forward to elevating the brand to the next dimension," Mirchandani said, adding that Padukone may feature in its advertisements by the end of the calendar year.
Over the next two years, the company plans to ramp up distribution to 50,000 outlets across more than 25 cities. Padukone’s involvement will accelerate that pace, Mirchandani said.
Drum Foods was founded in 2008 by former Wharton alumni Rohan Mirchandani, chef Ganesh Krishnamurthy, Rahul Jain, and Uday Thakkar. Its products are sold through more than 10,000 retail stores, including BigBasket and Amazon, besides retailers spread across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai. Padukone had set up KA Enterprises in 2017, to leverage her brand and back businesses ranging from apparel, to now food. So far, the firm has invested in four ventures.