MIRAE Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and South Korea's EastBridge Partners are investing US$30 million in digital entertainment company POPS, bankrolling an expansion into original content and South-east Asia's growing digital market.
Mirae is leading an investment that will help fund POPS' Web-based services, which stream kids' programmes, music and other family fare to mobile devices and smart TVs across Vietnam and Thailand, founder and chief executive officer Esther Nguyen said in an interview.
The Ho Chi Minh City startup plans to invest in original local language content exclusive to its mobile and Web platforms and to drive into a third market, potentially the Philippines, Ms Nguyen said without giving a time frame.
Her company may consider raising more funds and could acquire other media companies to scale up its regional operations, she added.
Founded in 2007, POPS is backed by angel investors from Silicon Valley and received US$7 million of previous financing, including Series A funding from Japan's IT-Farm and Series B backing from Warner Media LLC, formerly known as Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, the company said.
POPS has more than 3.6 billion monthly views and 2,300 content partners, mostly through YouTube and Facebook Inc, according to Ms Nguyen. The founder, who forecasts 2019 revenue growth of 150 per cent, declined to provide the company's financial details. BLOOMBERG