Jennifer Lopez and fiance Alex Rodriguez join Malaika Arora to invest in Indian startup Sarva

  • In an interview with Business Insider, Sarvesh Shashi, founder of Sarva, talks about how he got J-Lo and A-Rod to invest in his startup.
  • Sarva is a chain of yoga and fitness studios and also has digital community.
  • Founded by the 27-year-old entrepreneur, Sarva is currently present in 91+ studios clustering in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru along with other Indian cities
An Indian yoga and wellness startup Sarva has raised funds from singer and actor Jennifer Lopez and baseball star Alex Rodriguez. Bollywood actress Malaika Arora has also invested in the company, along with Zumba, a branded fitness program in the world.

Lopez and Rodriguez, a former star American baseball player, have led an undisclosed amount of investment in the Chennai-based Sarva. However, reports suggest that the couple have invested $6 million in the startup.

Founded by the 27-year-old entrepreneur Sarvesh Shashi, Sarva is a chain of yoga and fitness studios and also has digital community. Sarva is currently present in over 91 studios clustering in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru along with other Indian cities.

Chennai-based Sarva has over 55,000 customers and 220 employees. Part of the funding is aimed at helping the company expand its footprint. It is also evaluating a global entry into the UK, US and Middle East.

David Giampaolo, CEO of Pi Capital, who is also the chairman of Sarva, was the lead investor in this round. He roped in his close friend Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 hour fitness. Mastrov then got in his business partner is Alex Rodriguez.

“When we were doing this round, Mark spoke to Alex and Jennifer. They met me and we told our story to them. Jennifer said that my energy is infectious,” said Sarvesh, with a laugh.

Sarvesh points out that mindfulness is a big trend globally, being an 80 billion dollar industry. “There is a very large opportunity here. India itself is a very large consumption story. Yoga has a global play but is still fairly an unorganised sector. We are happy to initiate the process of organising it,” he said.

This would mark Jennifer Lopez’s first investment in a startup in India.

"I have personally benefited from my regular practice of yoga and believe that it has made a difference to my life both physically and mindfully. The enthusiasm that Sarvesh brings to SARVA is promising and infectious. I believe in the vision of SARVA and view it as a great common ground for a brilliant investment opportunity along with co-creating and serving a global community,” said Jennifer Lopez in a statement.
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