Mumbai-based celebrity-fan engagement startup TrueFan on Thursday announced it has raised $4.3 million in a Seed round of funding by prominent investors like Ronnie Screwvala, Mayfield India, and Saama Capital.
“The celebrity-fan engagement market in India has huge growth potential. Tapping into this, TrueFan has successfully on-boarded some of the top celebrities with an innovative business model,” said Nikhil Khattau, Managing Director at Mayfield India.
Founded by Nimish Goel, Nevaid Aggarwal, and Devender Bindal in January 2020, the startup connects Indian fans with celebrities through personalised and interactive experiences. The platform enables users to play simple quizzes around celebrities and the winners get a personalised video message from those stars.
“Indians harbour unconditional love towards celebrities. Being a fan myself, my personal experience of gate-crashing a wedding to meet my dream idol Virat Kohli holds testament to this. We aspire to fulfill lifelong dreams of millions of Indian fans and get them closer to their idols,” added Nimish Goel, Co-founder and CEO, TrueFan.
“We’ve built this product from a generic Indian consumer lens where people like you and me dream of interacting with superstars. We want to make this dream possible but at a price range that’s equivalent to a cup of coffee,” Nimish said.
TrueFan claims that it caters to the everyday Indian audience who’ve grown up enacting dialogues from Bollywood movies, copied hairdos of their beloved ‘heroes’ and ‘heroines’ or turned into bathroom-singers with their favourite love songs. It allows these very ‘true fans’ to interact with their superstars.
“When Nimish approached me on TrueFan, three things struck me: firstly, any product driven by technology is going to soar in the 2020 decade. Secondly, this is the perfect blend of gamification meets media meets content. Thirdly, the simplicity of the idea allows the product to seep through the wide, Indian user-base. For me, it is ideas like these that will really stay the course,” stated Ronnie Screwvala.
In May, another celebrity engagement platform from Mumbai, Tring, raised funds from top entrepreneurs and startup investors including Kalyan Krishnamurthy of Flipkart, Sujeet Kumar of Udaan, and Gaurav Munjal of Unacademy amongst others. Kalaari Capital also led a $2 million Series A round in a Hyderabad-based celebrity engagement and wishing platform WYSH in January this year.