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Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty invests in fitness startup

Squats

Bollywood actor and producer Suniel Shetty has invested an


undisclosed amount in Pune-based fitness and nutrition startup
Squats, the company said in a statement on Friday.
The company will use the investment to enhance its underlying
technological framework, strengthen its team and expand its pan-
India operations, the statement added.
Run by Squats Fitness Pvt. Ltd, the venture is an online fitness
coaching platform founded in 2016 by Jitendra Chouksey, a
software engineer and ISSA-certified sports nutrition specialist. It
offers users information around fitness and nutrition. Chouksey
started the venture as a WhatsApp group and then in 2015 created
a Facebook community where he answered queries around fitness
and grew the platform into a standalone venture since 2016. Since
that time, the company claims to have generated cumulative
revenues worth $8.5 million without any external marketing or
advertising.
Currently, Squats runs a mobile app called Fittr, which has over two
lakh downloads, where users can avail of fitness-related
information. The venture claims to have a membership base of over
five lakh members.
“In today’s time, when all kinds of false information about fitness is
common, there is a critical need for companies like Squats, which
address the issues of trust and credibility in the Indian fitness
space, focusing on ‘balancing quantified nutrition with weight
training’ and delivering exceptional results,” Shetty said in the
statement.
For the financial year 2016-17, Squats posted revenues of Rs 7.2
crore with 7% EBITDA margin, VCCEdge, the data research
platform of Mosaic Digital, showed.
The investment by Shetty is the latest example of celebrities
funding startups and ventures across sectors. Last week, the Zorba
Renaissance Private Limited-run Sarva said it had raised its first
round of external funding from a batch of investors, including pop
star Jennifer Lopez and her fiancé, Alex Rodriguez. Bollywood actor
Malaika Arora also invested in the company.
Other examples include Amitabh Bachchan, who has invested in
local search service platform Just Dial Limited and Priyanka
Chopra, who has funded networking and dating app Bumble, run by
Bumble Trading Inc.
Last year, VCCircle trawled through its in-house data analytics
platform VCCEdge as well as numerous media reports and came
up with at least 32 celebrities who have reportedly invested in as
many as 67 startups and other companies.