For quite some time now, the Indian start-up ecosystem has been banking on a new breed of investors in the form of India’s cricket personalities. Led by Virat Kohli’s string of investments, hard-hitting batsman Yuvraj Singh, former skipper MS Dhoni, veteran cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and commentator Harsha Bhogle are all avid start-up investors.
In the latest instance, Dhoni has invested an undisclosed sum in accounting services provider, KhataBook. Just like its literal meaning in Hindi, Khatabook app allows small and medium-sized businesses to record and track their business transaction, digitally.
The app is available in 11 languages and provides automatic backup, which keeps the user’s data safe even in the event of phone theft or malfunction. Dhoni will also become Kyte Technologies Inc-operated Khatabook’s brand ambassador.
“There are many new-age companies, only a few like Khatabook are making a difference at the grassroot level. Having grown up in small-town India, I saw friends and family struggle with outdated modes of doing business and tracking finances. Khatabook has had an outsized impact on the lives of small merchants and retailers,” Dhoni said.
This investment comes after the start-up raised $25 million (around Rs 176.94 crore) in its Series A funding round in October last year. The Bengaluru-based start-up said it will use the proceeds to expand and onboard two crore more merchants in the next 12 months. Currently, Khatabook claims to be available across 5,000 cities in the country and has recorded cash transactions worth over 3.7 lakh crore.
With this investment, Dhoni seems to have adorned the cap of an active investor having invested in several start-ups in the last few years such as Cars 24. Dhoni holds 25 per cent stake in Chennai-based start-up RunAdam Sports. Besides, he has also been roped in as the brand ambassador of gaming unicorn Dream 11 and ticketing platforms RedBus.
Dream11 has had a great run last year — from turning a unicorn with a billion dollar valuation in April 2019. Its users also swelled to 67 million after IPL in 2019, and was also the official partners for the league. Earlier in 2012, Dhoni also ventured into the world of commercial fitness by launching a chain of gyms. He co-founded SportsFit World along with his business manager Arun Pandey.
The cricketer’s choice
Dhoni has invested an undisclosed sum in accounting services provider KhataBook. The Khatabook app allows small- and medium-sized businesses to record and track their business transactions online.