Mobile app firm News in Shorts raises seed fund from Times Internet

BANGALORE: News in Shorts, a mobile app firm that gives out top news stories in 60-word bite-sized portions, has raised seed investment from Times Internet and a group of entrepreneurs, including Flipkart cofounders Sachin Bansal and BinnyBSE -5.00 % Bansal.

The investment—the amount has not been disclosed—will be used mainly to expand its content and technology teams.

Launched last September, the Delhi-based company was part of the fourth batch of Times Internet’s accelerator T Labs. Times Internet is part of the Times Group, which publishes The Economic Times.

Aimed at time-starved users, News in Shorts curates top stories and provides a short summary of each news item. “We want to enable our users to consume top news quickly whenever they have time, maybe during a coffee break or a short metro ride,” said Azhar Iqubal, 21, cofounder of the company. Iqubal and his cofounders Deepit Purkayastha and Anunay Pandey, both 22, started work on the concept while in the eight semester of their engineering programme.

Iqubal and Pandey dropped out of IIT-Delhi and Purkayastha, a school friend of Iqubal, quit his course at IIT-Kharagpur to launch the firm.

The app has now clocked up over 30,000 users. One such user is Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal. “I am a user of the product and it saves a lot of my time everyday. News in Shorts has the opportunity to redefine the future of news consumption via mobile,” said Bansal. The Flipkart founders were joined by serial entrepreneurs—Ankush Nijhawan, Gaurav Bhatnagar and Manish Dhingra—and Times Internet.

It was the mobile opportunity that attracted Times Internet too. “We are very keen on mobile as a medium, along with that micro-content consumption has seen a rise,” said Abhishek Gupta, who leads the TLabs initiative at Times Internet.

Globally, a number of companies are banking on the consumer’s need for curated and personalised content. US-based provides top news in 300 characters through a mobile app. Flipboard, Paper and Digg are some of the other online and app-based news curators.

Bangalore-based Newshunt, a mobile app that allows users to read regional language newspapers on their mobile devices, has seen about 35 million downloads and receives over one billion page views a month.

Like other app companies News in Shorts is also focusing on increasing its user base. “Once we have a strong user base we can focus on revenue generation streams like advertisements and paid content,” said News in Shorts cofounder


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