Brands help celebrities cash in on their fan base

Several celebrities, including actors and social media influencers, are increasingly trying to make money off their fan base by launching own brands, giving rise to a new set of social commerce-led companies in India and Southeast Asia.
These companies, including Spoyl and RAENA, are largely tapping an opportunity to build capital, suppliers, operations, content and distribution that celebrities can use to launch their own brands. “We work closely with celebrities to infuse their real personalities within the core of their brands and design, and also help manage the manufacturing, operations and distribution of the brand,” said Bhargav Errangi from Spoyl.
Top South Indian celebrities Mahesh Babu and Samantha Ruth Prabhu are launching their own private brands on influencer-led fashion e-commerce portal Spoyl. The company, which is backed by Sequoia Capital and TLabs, also works with established fashion blogger names in the industry including Kritika Khurana from That Boho Girl, Santoshi Shetty and Karan Wahi, among others.
Spoyl gets a markup on each product sold under any celebrity label. In Indonesia, RAENA is partnering social media influencers to build consumer brands.
“Predicting which product will be a hit is one of the toughest parts of a retail business. By partnering with an influencer, we gain quick iterative feedback on our products even before they are put into development,” said Sreejita Deb, the Harvard Business School alum who founded the company.
RAENA has raised $1.82 million in seed funding led by Beenext, Strive, and Sanjay Nath.
Moonella and Family, Indonesian child social media influencers, is RAENA’s first partner.
“We firmly believe that in Southeast Asia and India, with digital distribution having been solved for and increasing video and social media usage, the time is ripe to create brands that uniquely leverage these new channels of distribution and audience insight,” said Teruhide Sato, Partner, Beenext and former CEO, Beenos.
In India, fashion portal Myntra was one of the first to tap into celebrities to launch brands.
Over the last five years, the Flipkart-owned entity has launched several private labels in collaboration with Bollywood celebrities, including the Roadster brand with Hrithik Roshan, All About You with Deepika Padukone, and House of Pataudi by Saif Ali Khan.
Several individual influencer-led brands such as HUDA Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, Beyonce athleisure line Ivy Park, and Melissa McCarthy’s Seven7 have seen success in building and scaling up their own line globally.
Investors are now bullish about these trends coming to India. “These markets (India and Southeast Asia) are under-penetrated by global brands and incumbents are iterating at a very lethargic pace,” said Nikhil Kapur, Partner at venture fund Strive.

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