The startup claims to have clocked a 30% increase in its follower base across social media platforms in the last 12 months to reach 500,000 followers

Following in her father Suniel Shetty’s footsteps, Bollywood superstar Athiya Shetty has invested an unknown sum in Delhi NCR-based social commerce firm Stage3.

Athiya joins Stage3 as creative director in addition to her role as an investor. The firm intends to capitalise on Athiya’s celebrity and fashion flair to strengthen its position in the creative economy.

Athiya’s investment follows Stage3’s INR 20 Cr ($2.65 Mn) Pre-Series A round, which was led by Inflection Point Ventures and LC Nueva Investment Partners, among others, in December 2021. The business intended to use the funding to expand technical infrastructure, attract employees, and build data science skills.

Stage3 is a social commerce marketplace for fashion and lifestyle founded in 2016 by Sabena Puri, Sanchit Baweja, and Rina Dhaka.

The influencer-driven website focuses on offering inexpensive quick fashion in the form of designer clothes and accessories sponsored by celebrities or influencers.

The firm claims to be establishing a network of 5 million+ influencers and serving over 300 million digitally native GenZ and millennial buyers.

“There is a wealth of untapped potential, and Stage3 is leading the way to become a conduit of success for the next generation of creators,” Athiya added, elaborating on the collaboration.

“I have always expressed myself through fashion, and love being a part of the creator economy. I’d been looking for the right platform through which I could empower others and found that with Stage3,”said the actor.

Celebrities Investing in  Startups

Suniel Shetty, Athiya’s father and Bollywood actor, had invested an unknown sum in fitness firm Aquatein last month. As an investor and brand ambassador, he joined Aquatein, one of Inc42’s ’30 Startups To Watch October 2021 Edition.’ He also became an investor and advisor for Colexion, another Inc42 discovery from February 2022, and an NFT marketplace on the polygon network.

Meanwhile, there has been an increase in the number of creators-turned-entrepreneurs both internationally and in India. Rihanna’s Fenty Cosmetics is worth $2.8 billion, and Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have each launched fashion and beauty companies worth more than $1 billion.

In India, Katrina Kaif, a Bollywood star, invested an unknown sum in omnichannel lifestyle retailer Nykaa in a secondary deal in 2020. The investment comes nearly a year after Kaif established her cosmetics brand ‘Kay Beauty’ in collaboration with Nykaa in 2019.

A week later, in a separate transaction, actress Alia Bhatt invested an unknown sum in Nykaa in 2020. She previously owned a minority share in StyleCracker, a Mumbai-based fashion IT business.