Celebrity-fan engagement start-up Gonuts raises seed round from Sweta Rau, Archana Priyadarshini, 9Unicorns and others

Vinamra Pandiya, Founder, Gonuts, Joji George, Co-Founder, Gonuts, Mayank Gupta, Co-Founder, Gonuts

Gonuts, Asia’s largest and most influential celebrity commerce platform has raised 3.5 Crore in seed funding led by marquee investors Sweta Rau and Archana Priyadarshini. 9Unicorns, AngelList, Lets Venture, Pankaj Chaddah( Co-Founder, Mindhouse & Zomato), Ramakant Sharma, (Co-Founder, LivSpace), IIM Indore Alumni Fund, Harshal Morde, (Morde Foods Pvt. Ltd.) and other marquee angels and founders also participated in this round.

Founded by serial entrepreneurs Vinamra Pandiya and Mayank Gupta along with Media & Entertainment veteran Joji George in March 2020, GoNuts aims to bridge the gap between celebrities and their millions of fans and democratise talent to the Indian and expatriate Indian diaspora. Gonuts has a long term vision of creating India’s largest celebrity experience e-commerce platform.

GoNuts has a portfolio of over 700 of the leading celebrities, most of them exclusive on Gonuts, across categories like films, television, sports and music, amongst others, available on its platform. This gives users a diverse range of celebrities to choose from to convey personalized messages to their loved ones. The platform has leading celebrities exclusive on the platform which includes Shankar Mahadevan, Hans Raj Hans, Shaan, Kailash Kher, Sukhbir, Talat Aziz, Shibani Kashyap, Hariharan, Sivamani, Shivin Narang, Jonty Rhodes, Sumeet Verma, Ranveer Brar Ashish Vidyarthi and Vicky Ratnani.

Vinamra Pandiya, Founder, Gonuts said that “Our plan is to strengthen our market leadership and follow through on our vision to be Asia’s largest and most influential celebrity commerce platform. We feel that investments in the right team, technology and other levers of growth is very important and will be our immediate priority. We aim to onboard 5000+ of the most influential and inspirational celebrities by the next financial year and be the unicorn out of India in this category for the rest of the world.”

Sweta Rau, Angel and Venture Investor, White Ventures said that “Experiences are so much more valuable than anything else. Gonuts is creating a category in by building a marketplace that helps create experiences of joy, excitement and fun. It is making it easy for fans and influencers/celebrities connect in a deeper way through personalised videos, to begin with.”

Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, MD & Co-founder – 9Unicorns, said, “Indians are quite passionate about the celebrities that they follow. And yet, the influence that they hold over the masses has largely been untapped by brands. The team at GoNuts is creating a disruption in this field by delivering curated celebrity experiences. We are confident in its potential to achieve rapid scale. As brands look to bounce back from the pandemic by using newer ways of engaging with their audiences, we are confident that GoNut’s array of offerings will achieve greater traction in the market.”

The uniqueness of the platform is its ability to connect the Indian and global Indian diaspora to talent across genres that are multilingual and also at multi-segmented price points.