Talk to us about the inception and journey of POPxo. How did you think of venturing in licensing?
We were early to spot an opportunity in digital media in India and focussed on creating a safe-from-judgment space for women online. There were some women-centric magazines but they barely had any online presence. There were many sceptics when we launched POPxo in
2014. Today, POPxo is India’s largest digital community for millennial women and has an unrivalled advantage in the space.
We started building and promoting content that helped women become better in all aspects of their life, be it fashion, beauty, work or relationships. We used social media to reach out to our target audience and engage with them. Today, POPxo has over 42 million MAUs (monthly active users) across all platforms. Every month, the team creates over 2500 stories and 80 videos, resulting in users spending millions of hours consuming POPxo content.
Being the Founder & CEO of Luxeva Limited, the media-tech company behind three of India’s biggest digital brands—POPxo, Plixxo and Luxeva—I have been fortunate enough to have a strong team of ambitious and opinionated women around me since the very beginning of this venture. From a team of 3, we are now a family of 180+ in just 5 years.
We have raised a total of $11m in funding to date. The last investment round was led by Neoplux and OPPO, with participation from existing investors Kalaari Capital, Chiratae Ventures, Summit Media, and GREE Ventures.
Licensing helps uscater to a highly diversified market and merchandising helps to expand the scope of the IPs and tap the potential customer-base of more 1.3 billion in India today. Earlier, the owners of home-grown brands had limited their focus to core functions but today, licensing con help extend our brand visibility.
According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in licensing and merchandising (L&M) market in India?
In India, the penetration of licensing and merchandising (L&M) is set to grow manifold in the foreseeable future due to:
· Rising brand consciousness among consumers and higher penetration of modern retail and e-commerce.
· To tap the 1.3 billion customer base in the country, especially when awareness of brands among consumers in cities is very high
· Advancements in technology and expanding marketplaces have also been key to successful licensing programs recently.
Elaborate about the recent deal for Cartoon Network. What made you zero down for this IP? Also shed light on entering categories and distribution touch points for the licensed range?
We narrowed down on Cartoon Network solely on the basis of the Poweruff Girls’ collection. The Powerpuff Girls’franchise has inspired generations of young women. At its core, the series celebrates female strength which fits seamlessly with POPxo’s values.Through this, we look forward to offering our audiences an exclusive collection of sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, phone covers, diaries and wall clocks. Needless to say, they also thought that we were the right brand to represent PowperPuff Girls as we are a women only platform.