News in Shorts raises INR 25 crores from Tiger Global, Rebright Partners and Flipkart CoFounders
News in Shorts, a startup that summarises news in 60 words or less, has raised about INR 25 Cr in Series A funding. The investment is led by Tiger Global, with participation from Rebright Partners of Japan and existing investors Sachin and Binny Bansal. They recently attained a rating of 4.6 and became the highest rated news app (considering apps with > 100,000 downloads) on the Google Play Store. They had earlier told YourStory that they were working on a robust personalization engine and plan to publish 120 articles day from March 2015. So these funds should also assist them in accelerating the process.News in Shorts was started by Azhar Iqubal, Anunay Arunav of IIT Delhi, and Deepit Purkayastha of IIT Kharagpur in 2013. Their view was that though the youth of the country were ready to spend hours on Facebook or Whatsapp, they were not even aware of the most important news topics of the day. Growing from there, the TLABS incubatee company had raised its seed round in June 2014, led by angel investors and mentors Ankush Nijhawan, Gaurav Bhatnagar and Manish Dhingra, with participation from Flipkart Co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal, as well as Times Internet.
“Thousands of different forms - textual, video, audio - of content are being generated everyday. We intend to make all of this content easily consumable on mobile devices,” said Azhar Iqubal, Co-Founder and CEO, News In Shorts, talking about long term goals. There are many challenges in making content easily consumable on mobile devices. Personalization is one of the most important of those challenges.News in Shorts claims that none of the news apps in India is personalizing the user experience algorithmically at present and they aim to be the first to do so in India.
Takeshi Ebihara, Founding General Partner at Rebirth Partners, who was also a speaker at TechSparks 2014, had said that he believed that South-East Asia is the next startup hub. "I am not interested in funding startups that are just looking at one country in this region. If you are hungry to grab the entire Southeast Asian market, then reach me, and I am eagerly waiting to talk to you," he said.
Talking of the deal, Sachin Bansal said, “We admire News In Shorts for its dedication to create disruption in the news space. Clutter free and fast. We believe in the potential and high traction that the application is already getting, and this round of funding will give wings to their ambitions."