It sure is a fantastic morning! Your favourite website and app is in the news for all the right reasons and we're not talking about one of our stories or videos breaking viral records. If you've had a chance to read Economic Times today, then you would know that POPxo has raised 37 crores in funding. A big YAY! We're making headlines everywhere today, you can read about us on Tech Story, Bizztor, Inc42, YourStory and many more. We couldn't be happier to share this amazing piece of news with you, our fantabulous users, as you have made this all possible for us. The past four years have been a rollercoaster and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Commenting on the fundraise, Priyanka Gill, Founder and CEO, POPxo said, “There has been a build-up of positive international interest in POPxo. Having OPPO and Neoplux on board as investors opens up a lot of markets for us. With this investment round, we are looking to consolidate commerce as a strong revenue stream. Especially given that POPxo’s core strength is its proven ability to engage millions of women via content which naturally leads to a low customer acquisition costs and high conversion rates. We also plan to strengthen our vernacular offering, beginning with Hindi along with continued investment in video and our platform.”
POPxo started its journey in March 2014 with a team of 12 women. We've always been a platform for women BY women - since day one. It is one of the biggest driving forces for our team members. We hit a big milestone pretty fast, we reached 1 million readers within the first 6 months. There's been no looking back ever since. We've grown so much since that sometimes it's hard to believe that we've only been around for four years. Since then we have launched our app, a full-fledged and fabulous video section, we started Plixxo - India’s largest Influencer marketing platform with 23,000+ influencers in more than 100 cities across India and even got a couple of makeovers in the midst of all this. Oh and to top it off, we also just launched POPxo Hindi, making it convenient for users to switch to their language of choice. Today, our team is about 150 employees strong and growing! Isn't it cool that we manage to amaze ourselves?
Over the last four years, POPxo has become the go-to fashion, beauty and lifestyle destination for women across the country. We strive to be a dynamic media-tech platform with 14.3 million monthly loyal and engaged users currently - the majority of which are female. We've had the good fortune to partner with some leading brands through this exciting journey like Puma, Myntra, Vivo, Whisper, Tanishq, L’Oreal, Uber, Reliance Group, P&G, Tinder, Hike, and Amazon to name a few. One such client that has constantly supported us is OPPO, the brand has believed in us so much that they are now one of our investors. Not only that, this is their very first investment in the Indian market.
When asked about the decision to invest in POPxo, James Zheng, OPPO India investment manager said, “We have been working with POPxo over the past few years, they have been a key partner in our digital strategy in India. Given the success we saw there, we became interested in investing in POPxo. We are confident that POPxo will become a significant player in the e-commerce segment - with their ability to create content at scale and drive user engagement.”
In a newsreport, Alex Noh, Director, Neoplux said, “The Doosan Corporation has wide-ranging interests in Korea; Neoplux, its investment arm is engaged in diverse sectors and geographies. India is a large market and we feel that POPxo with the added advantage of Plixxo - its influencer platform is best placed to win in the content and commerce segment. We have full faith that Priyanka and her team will crack this lucrative opportunity - especially with the value add we can provide given our access to the Korean cosmetic industry.”
In fact, a major chapter of this fund raise story took place on a trip to Seoul, when our Founder and CEO, Priyanka Gill was invited to explore collaborations for our mammoth upcoming UGC initiative in the space of beauty product reviews.
Aside from OPPO and South-Korean Neoplux, which is the investment arm of Doosan, other investors who have also participated in the round are Kalaari Capital who has been an early believer in the need for women focused digital communities, Japanese Firm GREE Ventures, IDG Ventures India and Philippines-based Summit Media.
“There are 60 million women who are online now. Kalaari has been an early believer in the need for women focused digital communities and is excited about the progress POPxo has made,” said Vani Kola, Managing Director, Kalaari Capital. “We welcome the new investors who have joined the board and look forward to working with them in making POPxo an integral part of every woman’s life,” she added.
According to Karan Mohla, Partner, IDG Ventures India Advisors, "POPxo has established itself as a dominant media and community platform in India. By building an integrated content, community and commerce platform, we believe the company will continue to drive leadership with female users in the country. The expansion on video will be especially rapid as India looks to have 500M video consumers by 2020 driven largely by women and the youth segment”.
"In the last year, Priyanka and her team have proven that the Indian media tech industry has finally come of age, and strong businesses can be built on the backbone of the Indian consumer, especially in the female sector”, said Nikhil Kapur, Head of South Asia, GREE Ventures, Japan.
You can understand how ecstatic we are! We can't begin to thank you for your support and loyalty. We've come a long way and it sure has paid off, but this is only the beginning for us. There is so much more we plan to do for Indian women online and we couldn't be more excited and rearing to go. Picture abhi baki hai mere dost... Stay tuned!