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Here’s Indian Women’s Best Digital Friend

Started when there was hardly any content on the Internet specifically created for women, POPxo today attracts over 12.5 million users every month

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The last two decades saw many Indian women shatter the glass ceiling in the corporate world and attain prominent positions at the management level. While that trend is still strong, today, there is a rising breed of young female go-getters, bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, who want to make a difference to the world. One such person is Priyanka Gill, a fashion journalist cum digital media entrepreneur, who had envisioned to create quality content for the female fraternity through her venture POPxo and become their best digital friend. Her gambit ultimately paid off as last year her start-up — backed by venture capitalists such as IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital and GREE Ventures — managed to quadruple its revenues over the year before. (The company refused to disclose its topline and bottomline citing confidentiality.)

POPxo founder and CEO Priyanka Gill says, “We want to be an integral part of a woman’s digital life. We want to be the ideal platform where she can find information, gauge interesting things to buy, etc. Once we can enter the female consciousness in an integral way that would define success for POPxo. We are already very good at creating and distributing content. We are, in fact, making money right now.  Many brands recognise us. Our profit margins are very healthy. We want to deeply embed ourselves in women’s lives. Become indispensable to them so they open up their phone on a regular basis. So much so that someone says POPxo is their digital best friend.”

Available in two languages i.e., Hindi and English, POPxo covers four women-centric verticals: fashion, beauty, wedding and lifestyle. The digital media platform, which was started in 2014, attracts over 12.5 million users every month with 50 per cent of the traffic coming from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. While 25 per cent of the traffic is  from metros such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, 25 per cent is from cities such as Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Lucknow. About 48 per cent of the user base is above 25 years of age, and the remaining 52 per cent is below 25 years. POPxo runs India’s largest influencer network of bloggers as well as boasts of campus ambassadors across 200 campuses in India.

Gill further says, “I was living in London when I started the company. I moved back to India more than three years ago. The basic question was, what Indian women were doing online (in 2014). At that time, there was not much content that was created specifically for them in the country. We started with all kinds of texts and then videos. We now create 120 videos and 700 stories a month. We have built a brand that millions of women love and engage with. Our platform allows them to connect with other women. We focus on leveraging our large user base to generate transactions — beginning with affiliate e-commerce across categories.”

POPxo, which has raised close to $6 million, partners with some of the leading consumer brands such as Hindustan Unilever, Puma, Whisper, Tanishq, OPPO, L’Oreal, Reliance, Amazon and Jabong to amplify brand messaging to its key demographic through native advertising and large-scale influencer activations.  The company claims that such partnerships have helped brands achieve high levels of target audience engagement, customer acquisition and transactions.

“Last calendar year (2017), POPxo garnered 1.4 billion video views, 190 million page views and 25 billion social media impressions. About 41 million people who came to our website last year spent 30 million hours. As a result, we grew 20 per cent on a month-on-month basis. Going forward, we want to invest in vernacular in a big way. We are selling the first ever Beauty Box in January. We are selling 5,000 boxes at Rs 799 each. I have the bandwidth to market my own products,” reveals Gill, whose website’s tagline is ‘The Desi Girl’s Guide To Life & Love’.

Growth potential: The company recorded four times growth this year vis-à-vis last year, and similar growth is expected in the future.