“I wanted to let Chinese women feel sexier. Sexy is not the same as beauty. Sexy is internal: Feeling healthy and empowered.”

Daini Xu, Founder of O2bra

O2bra

Type

Social Network,
E-Commerce

Founder(s)

Daini Xu

Year Invested

2013

Investment Stage

Seed (2013),
Series A (June 2015)

Company Intro

O2bra is an innovative online platform that centers on high-end women’s undergarments, providing e-commerce and social networking services for users to purchase items as well as share their thoughts and experiences. The company offers a user base of more than three million people over 80 lingerie brands, in the process driving a revolution in the way Chinese women think about themselves and what they wear.

Website

“O2 is bringing different cultural perspectives and products to Chinese women, teaching them to be open minded. China is pretty tough towards women – if you’re single more than a while people question whether you’re attractive. If you don’t have kids, people ask why. My thinking was to bring positivity and confidence – to give women courage.”
Daini Xu, Founder of O2bra

Daini (O2bra)

"Scott doesn’t care what other people think about him. He’s interested in the big direction. People wonder how he does his job. They think he’s just lucky to have been in so early with so many successful companies, but it’s down to his personality. It’s important to Scott that the founder has a long-term vision."

Scott (PurpleSky)

"I knew Daini had a close partnership with a leading fashion designer, and that she understood product design because she used to work at a social network. She had the right background to make O2bra work. I also recognized her resourcefulness, perception and vision."

The Story

Daini
I heard about Scott a long time ago. At first I didn’t think he was a serious investor. He didn’t have a suit and tie. But I’d already spoken to 30 angels before he gave me my first offer, and even then I didn’t think he was serious until he sent his associate over to confirm the terms. It was very different.
Scott
We met in the lobby of a hotel to talk about what she wanted to do. When I was in college in the US I had seen the Victoria’s Secret (VS) catalogue, so I knew something about how big this business was. I decided very quickly that I wanted to invest.
Daini
Other investors didn’t believe in the potential of the market. But Scott believed. He could look at lingerie from a different perspective and see the difference between what New Yorkers and Chinese women were wearing. Other investors would ask, “What’s so special about your bras?” But Scott thought it was obvious.
Scott
The model was enticing. Women might only buy a product once every month or two but the margin was high and this was a billion-dollar market. It was fragmented and largely untapped, and Daini’s idea leveraged the power of independent women. The new generation of Chinese women wanted more of a sense of their inner beauty. VS had succeeded in doing this in the US, so why not here?
Daini
I wasn’t worried in the early stages because Scott convinced me I was on the right path. He was worried about later on - exclusive arrangements, being imitated and developing our own designs. He also pledged to cover loans rather than have investors push us into bad habits like faking user data or focusing on short-term goals.
Scott
I didn’t do too much, just helped with the introductions to other investors, and with questions of business development. We established a five-year plan looking at how to grow the company.
Daini
We’re now communicating beauty in a way that only attracts the right girls. We present a lot of models who are regular users, in the process steering the culture so that quality is more important than quantity.
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