As a student in IIT Delhi, Azhar Iqubal wanted to be up-to-date on current affairs around the world. But he wasn’t a fan of lengthy news articles in which you have to go through the rhetorics and opinions to get to the facts. Hence, he conceived the idea of presenting news crisply. Soon he dropped out of college and began his entrepreneurial journey with fellow IITians Arunay Arunav and Deepit Purkayastha.
In March 2013, the trio began a Facebook Page where they posted summarised news articles. They called it News In Shorts. The page became popular among students and generated a lot of interest. Later that year, Inshorts was incubated in TLabs in 2013. A group of angel investors saw potential in the idea and funded the company in the first seed round. The founders of Flipkart and Times Internet were among them. They launched the Android App in 2013 and iPhone App in 2015. They rebranded their company as Inshorts as they didn’t want to limit their content to news.
An Unique App Delivers 60 Words News Summary
Today Inshorts is one of the top-rated news apps on Android. It presents news in 60 precise words with a link to read the entire article. The news in this app covers all genres like sports, entertainment, politics, business, technology, and national stories. Inshorts uses AI to learn the digital behavior of its patrons and provide a personalized selection of shorts in the ‘My Feed’ section. Inshorts has been often coming up with innovative and non-intrusive ad formats for advertisers.
Inshorts became operationally profitable within five years of starting. Inshorts had reported Rs 60 Crore revenue run rate for FY19. At present, Inshorts is working with more than 300 advertisers and is adding ten new advertisers every month. Vodafone, oneplus, Netflix, Mercedes, and Myntra are some of Inshorts’ clients.
Inshorts earns revenue in two ways. First from the advertisers that post Ads on the app. Second is through traffic generation. Inshorts has tie-ups with certain media houses. It sends traffic to their websites through the links at the end of the shorts. Inshorts is given a certain commission for every click.
Inshorts raised 4 million dollars in February 2015 in a Series A funding led by Tiger Global, Rebright Partners, and Flipkart Founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. In July 2015, it raised 20 million dollars in Series B funding led by existing investor, Tiger Global. The last funding of 5 million dollars came in December 2017.
In October 2015, Inshorts acquired a Bangalore based web analytics company Betaglide. The company tracked the uninstallation of apps, thereby studying the reasons behind it. It helped Inshorts get an insight into its user behaviour.
Inshorts Gaining Momentum
Inshorts has more than 10 million downloads and gets over 3 billion page views per month on Android. It is rated 4.6 in the Play Store. According to App Annie Data Inshorts users are active the highest number of days in a month among the top 10 news and magazine apps on Android. Inshorts has come a long way from being a Facebook page to being one of the top rated news app of the country. It won the IAMAI’s best innovative app award in 2016. It not only keeps the youth informed but also brings their voice to the light through polls.