Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has made its first India investment with funding of New Delhi-based women-centric digital media startup POPxo. Oppo along with South Korean company Doosan Corporation’s investment arm led the $5.52 million (~ Rs.37 crore) funding in POPxo.

Existing investors, including Japanese firm GREE Ventures, IDG Ventures India, Kalaari Capital and Philippines-based Summit Media, also participated in the round. The funds raised will be used for product development and to increasingly tap into vernacular markets.

Founded in 2013 by Priyanka Gill and Namrata Bostrom, POPxo is India's online community for women that deals everything from fashion, beauty, lifestyle, work, and etc. The startup claims to have 14.3 million monthly users, with 82% of its users being female and over 70% of its traffic coming from outside the top five metros in India. Since July 2017, the company also has over 23,000 influencers across over 100 cities in India.

Priyanka is a London-based angel investor and writer for various Indian and UK publications while Namrata is no longer with the company.

Speaking about the fresh funding Priyanka Gill, CEO & founder of POPxo, said, “Oppo set the price for our investment round and has been one of our biggest clients prior to becoming an investor. We did a lot of their digital launches in India and Neoplux brings in Korean beauty brands."

“POPxo has been a key partner in our digital strategy in India. We are confident that POPxo will become a significant player in the ecommerce segment with their ability to create content at scale and drive user engagement,” said James Zheng, Oppo India investment manager.

Earlier in April 2017, POPxo had raised $3.1 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. Prior to that, the startup 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, and a year before that, POPxo had raised Rs 3 crore from investors including Google India head Rajan Anandan. To date, the Startup has raised a total of US $11.5 million.

Of late, startups in India are attracting notable Chinese smartphone companies including Xiaomi, which had recently (January) invested in $18.2 Million in ShareChat, a Bengaluru-based social networking app. Xiaomi made its first investment in India when, in 2016, it lead the $25 million funding round into Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, a Mumbai heaquartered aggregator and publisher of entertainment content on the internet.

Last month, Xiaomi announced that it will invest Rs 6,000-7,000 crore in around 100 startups in India over the next five years to strengthen its hardware and software ecosystem.

The above development was first reported in Economic Times.

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