POPxo.com, a digital publication targeted at young women, has raised $5.52 million (Rs 37 crore) in funding led by South Korea-based Neoplux Technology Fund and Chinese consumer electronics company Oppo.
The company said existing investors IDG Ventures India, Kalaari Capital, GREE Ventures (Japan) and Summit Media (Philippines) also participated in the round.
“With this investment round, we are looking to consolidate commerce as a strong revenue stream,” said Priyanka Gill, founder and chief executive officer of POPxo. "We also plan to strengthen our vernacular offering, beginning with Hindi along with continued investment in video and our platform."
Gill and Namrata Bostrom had founded Luxeva Ltd UK, which runs the fashion and lifestyle content portal, in 2014.
Gill is an angel investor and writer for various Indian and UK publications. Bostrom is no longer with the company.
POPxo targets women aged between 18 and 34 across India. It combines humourous stories written by in-house writers with content curated by a group of women editors, artists, designers and entrepreneurs.
The media-tech platform claims to have 14.3 million monthly users. More than 80% of POPxo users are women. POPxo is now available in Hindi as well.
The portal also partners with consumer brands for native advertising and events. The 'Shop' feature on its website curates beauty and other products from various e-commerce platforms.
Past funding and peers
POPxo had in March last year raised $2.7 million in a Series B funding round led by Japanese venture capital firm GREE Ventures with participation from its existing investors Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures India.
The portal had raised $2 million in a Series A funding round in November 2015 led by IDG Ventures and Kalaari Capital, with participation from 500 Startups.
A year before that, POPxo had raised Rs 3 crore from investors including Google India head Rajan Anandan.
POPxo is among a handful of women-centric startups in India to have raised external investment over the past couple of years.
SheThePeople.TV, a digital storytelling platform for women, founded by journalist Shaili Chopra, had raised funding from Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra in May 2016.
Besides SheThePeople, women intimate hygiene startup Peebuddy; women exclusive online fashion brand FabAlley.com; women-focused career platform Sheroes; women’s apparel retailer eShakti; fashion marketplace for women Voonik; smart jewellery startup Leaf Wearables; and Maya App, an app that helps women track their menstrual cycle, have raised venture capital investments over the last couple of years.
Neoplux Technology Fund was set up in 2000 as an investment arm of South Korean conglomerate Doosan Corporation. It primarily invests in privately-held companies working on disruptive technologies and alternative energy.
Last year, it invested in Bengaluru-based Delightful Gourmet Pvt. Ltd, which operates online meat and fish ordering platform Licious.
Oppo Electronics Corporation, commonly referred to as Oppo, is a Chinese consumer electronics and mobile communication company that is mainly known for its smartphones.
“We have been working with POPxo over the past few years, they have been a key partner in our digital strategy in India," said James Zheng, investment manager at OPPO India.