Mumbai-based yoga and wellness startup, SARVA has raised a $6-million seed funding round from celebrities from fitness and music industry including superstar Jennifer Lopez and her fiance, baseball legend Alex Rodriguez, marking the duo's very first investment in an Indian venture.

SARVA, which has some 55,000 members across 70 yoga studios in 35 cities, offer a varied range of engaging and customized yoga services drawn from the best of ancient and modern techniques.

The startup has so far raised a total of $8 million in two rounds including this one. SARVA also counts Bollywood entertainer Malaika Arora and India's largest chain of health clubs, Talwalkars, as its investors.

The Yoga Startup, which has also roped in a stellar supporting cast of US corporate executives as backers, plans to raise $15-20 million in institutional funding over the course of the current calendar year.

Lopez, who is widely perceived as one of the world's top ranking entertainers across movie and music industries, and Rodriguez, commonly acknowledged to be one of the greatest short stops ever to step onto a baseball diamond, were introduced to SARVA by Mark Mastrov, who is Rodriguez's partner in other ventures.

Rodriguez primarily invests through his firm A-Rod Corp, which he founded in 2003 to invest across a broad array of industries, including real estate, sports and wellness, media, entertainment and social responsibility.

SARVA has also raised money from Bill Roedy, former chairman and chief executive of MTV Networks International, Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, David Giampaolo, CEO of Pi Capital, and Zumba Fitness, the largest branded fitness programme in the world.

Founded by Sarvesh Shashi, 27, a former aspiring cricketer, SARVA has developed 25 unique and comprehensive forms of Yoga, which it teach to its students in its diligently designed studios to maximise the effectiveness of Yoga routine.

The startup, which counts Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Tata as its clients, has also curated a set of 12 workshops for corporates, each of either 45 minutes or a 75 minutes duration, that deals with day-to-day challenges of an employee.

In addition to corporate employees, SARVA also has easy-to-practice 15-20-minute workstation modules -- Desktop yoga, Chair Yoga, Partner Yoga, Dance Yoga, Brain Engagement Yoga and so on, that do not require the employee from moving away from their workstation.

Via ~ Economic Times

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