Research assistants from IIT Bombay start a social media startup

20th Feb 2015
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We want to see a better connected world that brings value to our users’ daily life.

Though most of us would resonate with the above thought, not many would go to the extent of creating a social media website to fulfill this dream. Bhanu Pratap Singh, Shubhajit Saha and Girish Kumar Nayak, Co-founders of Rime, are crazy enough to do that. Bhanu says,

There are lots of apps on the internet which helps you to be creative, to express and to share updates online. We made a platform which brings together all your creative contents in one unified timeline. You can follow people, like and comment on any content from web, all in one place.

Rime is an all-in-one unique social home page for users which automatically links content posted on the original publisher profile to put it on Rime profile. With Rime, users socialize on content from cloud storage services and are allowed to like, comment on any URL, make collection from consolidated user feeds.

This is different than which the co-founders consider as their competitor. At the moment, Rime supports Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, GitHub, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Tumblr and Vimeo. But there is no clarity on permissions for using the content from these websites.

(From L to R) Bhanu Pratap Singh, Shubhajit Saha and Girish Kumar Nayak

We got in touch with the ambitious team of Rime to know more about their venture.

What’s the point behind starting Rime?

The three co-founders have been working together for more than a year now. Girish and Bhanu are friends from their research assistant days at IIT Bombay (2009). Though they were discussing about starting up even then, it could happen only last year.

Post his masters at IIT while working at IBM, Girish worked with a couple of startups to understand what it takes to build teams and product from scratch. Before Rime, he was the first member of Mediamelaon Bangalore team, an online video delivery OTT solution provider. Shubhajit is an engineering graduate from Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, who earlier worked with Ubisoft, a game development company.

Only a year ago, all three of them decided to work full time on this idea as a team.

“It takes a lot to keep up with all the popular content and follow people on multiple platforms,” Bhanu says, adding,

“Though, there are many options (social media presence) in today’s world of how to project yourself online, there is no single platform that gives individuals full control of their online identity.”

Rime takes content uploaded on multiple social/cloud platforms and puts into one unified timeline to give others a bigger and better picture of you (unique social home page).

Social media market

Social Media is changing faster than ever. Ninety three per cent of marketers use social media for business. According to Pew Research, more than 50% of online adults have accounts in multiple social networking sites. There are more than 20 popular social networking sites sharing most of these users. Instagram users are as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis. With the smartphones penetration, social media today has become a necessity. Even if we look at cloud services, DropBox alone has over 200M users and 4M business users announced on Nov 2013.

Bhanu says, “We are targeting those users who are on multiple social (media) platforms as well as on niche communities platforms for bloggers/vloggers, photographers and artists.”


On the way

Rime is still in its beta phase and it is work in progress. Social media is a well occupied space with lots of big players in the market. Bhanu says,

We had to work on making our user understand that we are not yet another feed aggregators or social sites like other existing in market. We spent a lot of time to ensure that the app is as much simple and useful for users.

Rime has crossed 1000 users mark and was among the finalists in Tlabs Bangalore edition event for startups.

Times ahead

Bhanu shares his agenda for immediate future:

  1. An increase in the number of users.
  2. Reworking on the UI/UX.
  3. Better search and custom collections (similar to pins from Pinterest ) with a browser plugin.
  4. Extending support for niche communities like Gamer and research publication.

Rime has also added LinkedIn and Github to reach out professional communities.

Though the company is bootstrapped at the moment, the co-founders are actively looking for some investment too.

The big drive

Bhanu speaks about his inspiration,

An entrepreneur follows his dreams to make a difference around him. Quitting high paying jobs and sitting in a room, working really hard to chase your passion gives you all the motivation and happiness. It gives you a sense of satisfaction and you understand that though starting up brings an uncertainty, it’s definitely worth trying for.

Rime has had a great journey so far and the young team envisions to create a world class product from India. It’s good to see entrepreneurs not settling up with what is already there and pushing the limits of their thoughts and products.


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