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News In Shorts raises $20 mn Series B funding from Tiger Global at valuation of $100 mn

News In Shorts,
a India based mobile app company that publishes news stories in 60 words
summaries, has raised $20 million Series B funding from Tiger Global, which values
the startup founded by IIT dropouts at about round $90-100 million.  

News In Shorts,
a India based mobile app company that publishes news stories in 60 words
summaries, has raised $20 million Series B funding from Tiger Global, which values
the startup founded by IIT dropouts at about round $90-100 million.  

According to an
Economic Times report, the investment
will be used primarily for expansion of the team and improving the user
experience.

In February this
year, the company had raised $4 million through a Series A round led by
Tiger Global
 with participation from Rebright Partners of Japan and
existing angels Ankush Nijhawan, Gaurav Bhatnagar, Manish Dhingra and Flipkart
Founders Sachin and Binny Bansal. This news comes just one day after Tiger
Global announced that they had led a Series C round of funding for music
streaming service, Saavn
.

Founded by Azhar Iqubal, Anunay Arunav of IIT Delhi, and Deepit
Purkayastha of  IIT Kharagpur in 2013, News In Shorts provides its target
audience with maximum 60-word summaries of the day’s top stories spanning a
range of categories including sports, entertainment, business, national and
international news. Each summary includes a single link out to a story where
the reader can go to get further information. Readers can also opt in for push notifications.

The idea for the
startup came out of a personal pain point of the founders. They were not in the
habit of reading long form news and hence found it difficult to keep up with
national and global happenings. They started their journey from TLabs
incubator in 2013
and had raised a seed round from Times Internet and
Flipkart co-founders.

“The only
focus that we have right now is to make sure that the app runs smoothly on
lower-end smartphones as well,” Co-founder and CEO Azhar Iqubal was quoted
in a report as saying.

Last year when
the company reached 100,000 downloads, News in Shorts said in a report that they were getting
~3 million page views in Sep 2014, 5.5 million in October, 10 million in Nov
and 19 million in December 2014; which amounts to a 100% month-on-month
growth. 

They recently crossed the 1 million download mark with a 4.5 star rating
on Google play store.”We
will reach five million downloads by the end of 2015, and hopefully also cross
the 10 million mark by then,” Iqubal was quoted in the report as saying.

As most of their
focus and traction has been on the mobile app, they recently shut down their
website. However, Azhar added that they plan to relaunch it in the future.
 Currently, about 90% of their
user base includes Android users and remaining 10% consists of iOS users.

News in shorts
is 30 odd members with 15 full-time writers and nine people working on
design and mobile app development. The
company will use the current funding round to enhance the user experience. They
are currently working on a personal recommendation engine that is expected to
be launched shortly. The company has also been experimenting with
videos and have embedded videos along with some the stories they cover.

With no
immediate plans to moneitze their app, the company’s focus will be on
increasing the volume of their content and also the user experience. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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