News In Shorts raises funding from Times Internet, Flipkart Co-founders and Other Investors

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We are a generation of impatient souls where fast food, blazing fast 3G, 4G connections and fast cars are the need of the hour. Most of the youth today have no idea about the world around them because most do not have the patience to go through lengthy and complex articles and news pieces.

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News in Shorts founded by Azhar Iqubal, Deepit Purkayastha and Anunay Arunav, three IIT droputs aims to address this very pain point. News In Shorts provided readers with crisp news in sixty words. These short pieces contain the main essence of the articles and are devoid of opinions and other unnecessary information. They present just the facts in sixty words!

News in Shorts recently raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Times Internet, Flipkart co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal and entrepreneurs Gaurav Bhatnagar, Ankush Nijhawan and Manish Dhingra.

The company plans to use the investment raised to improve their product by expanding their content and marketing teams. It had previously received a seed funding of INR 10 lakhs, for 10% stake in their company, while they were a part of TLabs, fourth batch of incubatees.

 Origins:

The Founders hated reading long lengthy articles and felt that they wasted a lot of time doing so. They then started a Facebook page on April 1st 2013, and within a matter of weeks they had thousands of people supporting their venture. Overall, they currently have a strength of eight including three dedicated writers.

Testimonials:

What else could be a better example than a snippet from one of their users, Sachin Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart – ‘I am a user of the product and it saves a lot of my time every day. News in Shorts has the opportunity to redefine the future of news consumption via mobile.’

Another testimonial from Abhishek Gupta, TLabs, ’I believe in the team and see a great opportunity for consumption of micro-content using mobile devices in this fast paced world. ‘

Process Involved

The team summarizes all their articles manually. They have a heuristic based approach to summarize articles. They are focused on the mobile platform, as it is the future.There are people who understands the technology space very well and then there are people who understands content very well. The real challenge is to be an expert in both fields. As, the ultimate winner will be the one, who understands both – the technology and the content fields.

Also in case a user really likes the summarized article and is interested in reading more about it, News In Shorts also provides a link to the original source of the article. In their app this can be found on the bottom right hand  corner.

A question many users might have is, if there are any legal/copyright issues involved in this process. According to the Legal Counsel there are no issues because News In Shorts cover only facts, rephrase it their own language and also provide a link to the original source.

Scaling Up

They were publishing around 30-40 news articles a day, which was not sufficient for many users. Also, they are currently only on the Android platform. They need to scale their content and tech team to flourish and increase the frequency of articles .Their aim is to serve half-a-million users by the end of the year.They will be launching the iOS version of the app in the first week of August.

Future Plans:

All their investors are very supportive, and are mentoring them actively.They have the flexibility to call them any time to seek help in solving any of their queries.As of today, there are no plans to expand to other languages. But, they will definitely give it a thought, may be a year down the line. As India is a land of diversity, it does make sense to diversify and  and expand to other regional languages.

They currently have around 30K downloads on Play Store. They are also planning to tie up with publishers in the future, so that they can put forth opinions as well in summarized form in their short articles.

The app has  high engagement rates in the high end smartphone user segment, probably because they are the ones who are most time starved.You can download their app here, if you aren’t using it already.


Harshith Mallya

Harshith Mallya

Writer@YourStoryCo, Engineer from MIT, Manipal, Tech Enthusiast, Foodie and Couch Potato Extraordinaire Email : harshith@yourstory.com