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News In Shorts raises $4mn in Series A from Tiger Global and others

News
In Shorts, a India based mobile app company that publishes news stories in 60 words
summaries, has raised $4 million in Series A funding round led by Tiger Global,
with a post-deal valuation of around $16 million.

News
In Shorts, a India based mobile app company that publishes news stories in 60 words
summaries, has raised $4 million in Series A funding round led by Tiger Global,
with a post-deal valuation of around $16 million.

The
funding round also saw participation from Japan’s Rebright Partners and
existing investors Sachin and Binny Bansal, the founders of e-commerce firm
Flipkart, reports TechCrunch.

The Delhi-based
startup 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.

Founder and CEO
Azhar Iqubal told TechCrunch in an interview, “The idea is that readers should
have enough of an understanding of a story within 30 seconds of reading. We use
a team of editors because we believe that technology is not up the mark.”

The company launched
its app 18 months ago on Android system as it has “much better penetration in
India.” An app for iOs was released this year, and together its apps have been
downloaded over 100,000 times. The company claims to see 10,000 downloads
per week.

Iqubal told TechCrunch,
that the global investment giant is impressed by the usage of its app. Around
40% of all registered users log in each week, while its daily users browse an
average of 50 stories per day.

With this
funding, Iqubal is aiming to grow News In Shorts to between 2.5 million and 5
million downloads by the end of 2015. First priority is to double the daily
content to 120 summaries. To make that happen, the 16-person team will grow to
60 over the next few months. Half of that number will be editorial, with
the remainder split between tech and operations/marketing, he added in the
report.

The company is
also interested in opening the service to third-party contributors, such as
professional writers who would be vetted by the company and then invited
onboard to contribute. This model could increase the service’s daily content to
more than 1,000 stories. That plan is still in its early stages, but he
believes that writers could be paid based on viewing figures or potential ad
revenues in the future.

 

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