Ajinkya Rahane, Vice-Captain of the Indian cricket team who led India to a majestic victory over Australia in the recent Test series, is also a start-up investor.
According to Moneycontrol, Rahane had last year invested in two startups — Mahindra-backed MeraKisan, an agri-tech startup, and Hudle, a digital platform for sports enthusiasts.
When asked about this newfound interest, the stellar batsman stated that being in the cricket fraternity led him to travel far and wide and meet young professionals with innovative business ideas. He further added that some of these ventures had a great potential of becoming successful businesses in the future.
Rahane saw in it a great opportunity for investing and making his future secure and thus after consultations with his business partner Akhil, Rahane decided to start exploring an interesting business venture for partnership.
Delving deeper into his investment mantra, Rahane said, “My first lookout before investing in any venture is if I relate to the core business of the company and how I can contribute to the business. It is crucial for me to meet the founders and know their vision for the company and how they plan to make use of me as a brand ambassador,”.
While MeraKisan supplies produce from farmers to consumers through retail stores as well as e-commerce platforms, Hudle helps sports enthusiasts find and book sporting events and venues.
MeraKisan founded in 2016 plans to break even this year and also aims to make a turnover of about Rs 40 crore next year. Prashanth Patil, CEO and founder of MeraKisan, added that they aim to “impact the lives of over 10,000 farmers by increasing their income by the year 2023.”
Explaining his reason behind investing in hudle, Rahane said that Hudle makes it easier for non-professional amateur athletes and sports enthusiasts to find and book spaces to play sports.
Suhail Narain, CEO and founder of Hudle, said that the company plans to extend its operations to other parts of the world as well.
After MeraKisan and Hudle, Rahane is also looking towards investing in other categories. “Gaming, education, health tech, kids’ nutrition, and e-sports are some sectors where we have had some discussions. Am also interested to look at more opportunities in the agricultural space,” he added.
In addition, Rahane also wants to explore the possibility of helping in the mental well-being of sportspersons for their upcoming competitions or tournaments.
Rahane and the Indian cricket team are now gearing up for England’s upcoming tour of India, which will be the first cricket tournament in India after the coronavirus outbreak.
Like Rahane, many cricketers have backed startups. For example, Virat Kohli not only co-owns fashion brand Wrogn, he also bought a stake of around 30 percent in Chisel, a gym and fitness centre chain, in 2015.