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Always in News with the CEO of InShorts This Millennial dropped out of IIT to form his own start-up

By Sandeep Soni

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Azhar Iqubal, 23, Co-founder & CEO of Inshrots shares his experience running a startup at this young age:

I dropped out IIT Delhi in 2012. I along with my other two co-founders incorporated Inshorts (earlier known as News in Shorts) in September 2013, completely out of our own personal experience. While there are many sources of information including Facebook and Twitter, but we offer the day's top news across sectors in 60 words or less and
a link back to the website where it was originally published. We are completely different from any of the similar players
including messaging app Hike, which recently launched its short news feature, and Way2News from Way2Online, an
Internet technology company.

Scaling "Inlong'

Our growth has been very explosive. Currently, we publish 100-120 stories daily, and our daily active users browse almost 80 stories daily with more than 25 million views per day in terms of engagement. This was around 20 million views per month during 2014 end, but we ended 2015 with 600-700 million views per month. We are witnessing almost half a million downloads every month currently. We recently crossed the threemillion mark for our app downloads, 90 percent of which was on Android, which is largely the mobile ecosystem and rest on iOS. Our first 100,000 downloads came in December 2014, which zoomed up to around 2.8 million downloads in 2015 end, which was almost 30 times growth. Last year in November, we launched our Hindi app and the response has been more than what we expected. We have partnered with different digital publishing businesses for taking their content and generating a particular amount of traffic to their websites, which is useful for them too. If we generate more than the limit, there would be revenue sharing.

In 2016, we are expecting phenomenal growth. We will hit a total billion views per month by this month or March. There are plans to expand to other languages and in other countries as our service is not geographically limited. The expansion will probably happen in next three-six months. We are expecting more than 25 million downloads by the end of 2016 while views are expected to be around 10 billion. We raised $20 million in our last Series B round in July last year from Tiger Global, which we have been using for team building and brand. Moreover in terms of headcount, we would be going from current 68 to around 150-200 by 2016 end.

Sandeep Soni

Former Features Editor


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