scorecardBling and ka-ching! – This startup’s founders walk away with an investment double the original ask on Shark Tank India
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Bling and ka-ching! – This startup’s founders walk away with an investment double the original ask on Shark Tank India

Bling and ka-ching! – This startup’s founders walk away with an investment double the original ask on Shark Tank India
Business4 min read
  • Zillionaire is a Jaipur-based startup creating bling jewellery.
  • The startup’s clientele includes celebrities like Ranveer Singh, Raftaar, Karan Johar, and others.
  • The 19-year-old founders of Zillionaire walked away with an investment of ₹1 crore from shark Anupam Mittal - double their original ask of ₹50 lakh.
Shark Tank India S2 has made it clear - India has no dearth of talented entrepreneurs. Like the 19-year-old founders of Zillionaire India - a lifestyle jewellery brand offering ‘bling jewellery’ primarily made of silver and/or cubic zirconia.

The Jaipur-based startup makes ‘bling jewellery’ popularised by rappers, which is only available for sale on the company website. Zillionaire offers a regular range of earrings, pendants, bracelets, cuffs, etc., along with customised items. The average order value is ₹14,000, while the minimum value for a custom piece is ₹15,000.

Founded by Aaditya Fatehpuriya and Raghav Goyal in 2020, the direct-to-customer (D2C) brand has a verified Instagram handle with over 56k followers. The startup made revenue of ₹11 lakh in the first year of its operations. Since then, it has enjoyed a growth rate of 554%, raking in sales to the tune of ₹72 lakh in FY22. In the 7 months of FY23, the company’s year-to-date sales hit ₹1 crore, with a profit of ₹15 lakh. The founders projected total sales worth ₹2 crore in FY23.

The startup’s clientele includes celebrities like actors Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Janhvi Kapoor, singers Raftaar and B Praak, and director Karan Johar, among others.

“We don’t just want to be a jewellery brand. We want to be a lifestyle brand, so that in the future if your chair has the logo of Zillionaire, its value rises. The sky’s the limit for us,” stated Goyal introducing Zillionaire on the show.

The founders asked for an investment of ₹50 lakh for 3.3% equity, but went home with an investment of ₹1 crore for 10% equity from shark Anupam Mittal, the founder of Shaadi.com.

“We’re living what we’re selling”

During the pandemic, the two founders, who were 16 at the time and in Grade 11, got to discussing rap music. That’s when they came up with the idea of producing bling jewellery for themselves. They uploaded their designs on Instagram as well, and that’s how Zillionaire was born.

At present, both founders look after the design, production, and marketing of the products. Goyal is currently studying at the Parsons School of Design in New York - where Zillionaire India helped him earn a 40% scholarship.

On the other hand, Fatehpuriya is involved with Zillionaire full-time. His father has been running a jewellery business for over 30 years, manufacturing and exporting fine jewellery, primarily for women. And now, his father’s company is responsible for Zillionaire India’s production as well.

The products are designed by the founders and they pay the cost of production (including the cost of material and labour), per piece to Fatehpuriya’s father’s company. Currently, 30 to 40 pieces are produced daily for Zillionaire. The founders have the vision to generate monthly sales worth ₹2 crore by 2026 and expand into global markets, in Dubai, Australia, and the UK. They’re already available in the US.

“We’re living what we’re selling. The knowledge we have of hip-hop and this culture, usually others (jewellery designers) don’t have. We make sure to hit our customers psychologically. We already get opportunities to collaborate with Marvel, FIFA, etc., and create products for them - but they ask for MG (minimum guarantee). We’re a bootstrapped brand currently, and can’t afford that MG. In the future, if brand awareness and consequently sales increase, we can even lower the price, if required,” said Goyal, when asked about what sets Zillionaire India apart.

Finding the “king of bling”

Shark Namita Thapar, executive director at Emcure Pharmaceuticals, backed out at the start stating that the business would not yield 100% return due to existing competition, and high average ticket price.

However, the duo impressed the other sharks with their product and vision so much that they had two competing offers.

Mittal made the first offer - ₹1 crore for 10% equity, valuing the company at ₹10 crore. This was followed by a joint offer by sharks Aman Gupta (co-founder, boAt), Vineeta Singh (co-founder, Sugar Cosmetics) and Peyush Bansal, (co-founder, Lenskart) – ₹50 lakh for 10% equity, which valued the company at ₹5 crore.

Mittal responded to the offer by telling the founders that, “by having just 2-3% equity, no shark will be dedicated to your business. You need someone who has skin in the game. Don’t make a mistake!”

The founders ultimately went with a single shark, Mittal, while naming him “the king of bling.”

Singh, who wanted to match Mittal’s offer but didn’t because of Gupta, appeared visibly shocked at the decision, while Bansal remarked that “he got it wrong”. Even Gupta admitted that they lost the deal because of him, while Singh reiterated that she really wanted this deal.

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