AI-based News Platform NewsBytes Raises $1.5 Mln In Series A Round
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Newsbyte, an AI-driven digital media startup, has raised $1.5 million in Series A funding round led by North Base Media, a US-based global venture capital firm specialized in media. The round also saw participation from new investor JITO Angels and the company’s existing investor, Powerhouse Ventures.
Gurugram-based Newsbytes was founded in 2015 by Romesh Khaddar, Shikha Chaudhry and Sumedh Chaudhry. The platform creates concise news items by leveraging artificial intelligence.
“Our engine has the ability to write factual content with almost zero human intervention. We have already on boarded a couple of clients overseas and a couple in India,” co-founder Chaudhry said. The AI-led content creation feature helps them save costs while scaling their content.
The company plans to deploy the fresh funds in augmenting its technology. “With this capital, we are better positioned to expand our fast-growing audience and develop new technologies that will allow us to serve new clients,” it stated.
NewsBytes had raised USD 1 mn in a pre-series A funding round in September 2018.
Not Replacing Journalists
NewsBytes’s AI-driven content engine, YANTRA, has multi-lingual capabilities and can tackle a wide array of categories from consumer technology to financial markets. On being asked won’t automated news writing put journalist’s jobs at risk, Chaudhry told Entrepreneur India that the idea is to not replace journalists but give them ammunition to support their work.
“For instance, the engine can’t write stories that require human empathy or emotions to write but all factual content, like what happened in a match to the launch of a phone can be completely automated. If you see how the whole market has evolved, a lot of content is being created because it has to be created, and that’s what we are targeting,” he explained.
The company aims to expand YANTRA beyond media houses by licensing its engine to all kinds of companies that require factual content. It claims to have already onboarded several clients including overseas media companies. “We are also working on using AI to generate other products as well,” Chaudhry said.
Newsbyte’s B2C news vertical has seen about 13 million monthly unique users over the last 3-4 months.