Publishing houses generate a lot of content. Be it any sector, quality is very important but quantity is also equally important for a publishing house. The print media has been at the forefront till now but the online publishing industry is gaining ground. Print media is already losing its sheen in USA. The global online publishing industry is growing at the rate of 7% per year and is expected to reach $11 Billion by the end of 2016. In India as well, online news reading has seen a huge surge in recent years after the advent of social media. And riding on this wave, is startup Parallel Dots.
Founded by Angam Parashar, Ankit Singh and Muktabh Mayank, Parallel Dots has a team of techies who are passionate about making life simpler for internet users. Angam and Ankit are friends from IIT Kharagpur while Muktabh is from BITS Pilani. They've all had a couple of years of experience individually before they decided to come together to start up Parallel Dots.
Their algorithm automatically searches for the important events on themes matching the users' interest in the publishers archive and subsquently generates an interactive timeline of those themes on the publisher's webpage itself for the end-users. “This not only helps publishers to generate additional views on their content but also helps users to find the relevant information in a concise and chronological way,” says Angam. The trio have complimentary skill sets with Angam taking care of sales and marketing, Muktabh handles tech and Ankit handles deployment on the client's side.
Starting out in December 2013, the trio was ready with a prototype in January post which they made it to the Batch 5 of TLabs Accelerator. For publishers and bloggers, the Parallel Dots tool automatically creates a timeline of any event using the archive and presents it in an interactive, intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface on their webpage. Here is a video demo of the product:
It's still very early days for the product but the tool seems well placed for an acquisition by a big media house. To this, Angam says, “Acquisition is always a possibility for a startup like us but we are not thinking about it at all. Our focus right now is to keep on improvising on our product and get as many publishers on board as possible.” They've rolled out the product with a few blogs but are in talks with the bigger houses like Times (also backers of TLabs) to put the product in action.
Parallel Dots also recommends content to end-users and hence is bound to have strong competition. “We are mainly competing with widely popular related post plugin from WordPress. It also throws recommendations contextually on the publisher’s webpage. Similarly, there are various other popular widgets from the likes of Outbrain and Taboola, who also recommend content to the readers,” says Angam. However, Parallel Dots claims to remain conceptually different from all such widgets with different value propositions to publishers.
The Parallel Dots team has got some valuable feedback at TLabs and is currently going out and talking to media houses to get the tool in use. Getting a few marquee clients onboard will be crucial for them to reach the critical mass and have more publishers using the Parallel Dots tool.
Website: Parallel Dots