Ex-MD, Microsoft India, Srini Koppolu co-founds Veooz, a news feed platform
With the increasing amount of content present in the digital world today, short format of content seems to be fast picking up, with Indian brands like In Shorts and Way2News creating a buzz. Entering this fray of bringing easy readable news content to the end user is Veooz.
Founded by Srini Koppolu, ex-MD of Microsoft, India, Vasudeva Varma, Dean R&D and IIT Hyderabad professor, and an expert in search, machine learning and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Dr. Prasad Pingali, Veooz claims to bring news stories in different languages for different parts of the world.
After working in Microsoft for 21 years and investing in several startups, Srini came across this platform developed by Prasad and Vasudeva. He knew he had to join the team. "There's great amount of data that is produced on a daily basis through various news platforms and social media. We wanted to take this massive amount of information and create a set of stories that are relevant to the user," says Srini.
How does the platform work
Srini says that there are algorithms and heuristics in place that read and process a huge bank of content and data. The data is then segregated and processed according to different categories of news stories. The end consumer then reads this in the form of a news feed. Depending on what the consumer reads on a regular basis, the algorithms then intelligently process the data to discover what feeds will be interesting to the audience across locations.
The platform even helps you read news in a way you find best suitable. You can skim through the feed headlines, read short summaries or the full stories. Additionally, it provides in-depth coverage of stories with the aid of pictures and videos. A user can choose to follow different topics and on the basis of your choices real-time news feed is given.
The biggest challenge according to Srini was to get the platform with such complexity to function efficiently at the user's end. "Getting different aspects of the technology to work in sync and in real time was a challenge. The complexity and quantity of data that we need to work through was at times mind boggling," he adds.
The team worked through different stages of iterations during the beta stages to get the final product out.
With limited amount of time people have and relatively short attention spans, consuming content in short forms is taking on a wide appeal. Globally players like Circa and Zite are popular for this format. Though Circa raised USD 5.7 million in funding the company went into an indefinite hiatus earlier this year. In India, In Shorts and Way2News are few of the platforms. In Shorts was even funded by Tiger Global.
Later in the year, Veooz plans to raise funding. The team is looking to develop on the platform a little more. It will also be looking at advertising-based revenue model once it sees a little more traction.