I am not much for sharing funding news per se, but I think I should share this news with you. Just to tell all of you reading this, a big thank you. Thanks a lot from the bottom of our hearts.
I am happy to share that YourStory has raised a funding round of $6 million, completed this month, led by UC-RNT, Kalaari Capital, 3one4 Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures.
To me, this milestone is reflective of not just of the relentless pursuit by YourStory but every entrepreneur who works in a space that is considered ‘un-sexy’ and not scalable by investors and experts at large.
Building a digital media business that tells stories of entrepreneurs is a fanciful dream, and we chose to live that dream with utmost pride and insane drive every day, every single day since 2008.
To me, YourStory is more than just a new-age media tech company. It represents every entrepreneur in India’s startup ecosystem. Our survival and growth is representative of the growth and survival of the Indian startup ecosystem. Oh! yes, I can say this, having survived the long nine years and seen many ups and many, many downs.
One question that digital media businesses are asked is how they will scale it. To be honest, I don't know the right answer, except we will chase the impossible. And we will not give up. Fight it out. Borrowing a line from Jeff Bezos, “One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.” And we will.
The dream to build a global new-age digital media business out of India is once in a lifetime opportunity, and we are pursuing it with all heart and insanity.
Just to give you a context, we are chasing $4 million in revenue this year. Six months into the financial year, we are close to the halfway mark and confident that we will achieve our goals. It’s a chase, a fight, one that sometimes seems never-ending but one we cannot live without.
We look abroad. My dream is to have a company that becomes a benchmark within India and the world for stories of inspiration and most importantly, of hope.
I am also happy to share that we have recently started YourStory Germany to cover the ecosystem there and bring entrepreneurs from Germany and India closer together to collaborate and form rewarding long-term relationships.
We hope to expand to other markets soon. This is not just YourStory’s journey alone – it is the journey of every Indian who is part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. So, shamelessly I seek your support, as you have supported all along. We embark on a relentless pursuit with the confidence and the hunger that we will make it matter to India and to the world.
I would like to personally thank Vani Kola, who has been my pillar of strength. She has encouraged me and stood by me when few others did. She feels like a partner not an investor to me. Most importantly, she has made me a better CEO.
My heartfelt thanks also goes to UC-RNT for leading this round, especially Mr Ratan Tata. He is my biggest role model. And Mathias, who has redefined for me in the last one year what a genuine friend and encourager means.
I thank Mohandas Pai for being the incredible him and believing, encouraging, supporting all the way, every day, and Pranav Pai for having the faith from the beginning. They inspire me to chase big. And Qualcomm Ventures for continuing the support and encouragement. Basically, thanks to investors for believing in this dream. You are a rare breed who believes when most of your breed did not believe :-)
And thank you to everyone who has ridiculed, questioned, mocked and believed that the next step I take will be my last. Thank you for giving me the added drive to push harder. Every time I fall I think of you, get up, brush myself and run again.
And, of course, I want to thank the brilliant, crazy souls at YourStory. There’s nearly a hundred of us – we fight, we argue but we come together and create magic with the purity of our purpose.
If you attended TechSparks 2017 last week, you’d have seen some of that magic rub off on you too. We share a fierce passion for making YourStory stand out for ourselves and for all of you my dearest entrepreneurs. Be with us and we promise to get better, do better, and together create stories that will matter.