In 2013, three friends from IIT Delhi, Deepit Purkayastha, Anunay Arunav, and Azhar Iqubal (now SONY TV reality show, Shark Tank India Judge) started a Facebook page called ‘News In Shorts’ because they were tired of reading long news articles.
Soon, the page gained 20K followers. But organic results began to decline giving Azhar Iqbal and his friends the idea “why not to turn InShorts into a full news app?” from where the world introduced with a revolutionary Indian news startup by IITians.
InShorts is an online news aggregator that gives you short news summaries, perfect for people who don’t have much time reading lengthy articles. People love Azhar Iqbal’s platform so much that their application has reached an impressive milestone of 10 million installs on the Play Store.
Based on a news aggregator model, Inshorts doesn’t owns any of its news, all are sourced from other news websites like Techcrunch, Times Now, and Hindustan Times. In this way, the platform also help these websites in getting more visitors. But it doesn’t charges them for this.
In addition to providing news, Azhar Iqbal owned app also helps businesses advertise their products which is its primary income source. With millions of users, InShorts becomes a great platform for targeted ads.
Advertisers leverages the application’s algorithm and analytics and pay the company to show their ads between news stories or as sponsored content.
InShorts makes money mainly from in-app ads. It also partnered with big companies like Vodafone, Oneplus, Mercedes, and Myntra. According to YourStory, in 2018, it was working with 100 big advertisers, adding 10 new ones monthly.
In 2019, Shark Tank India Judge owned app InShorts launched another app called Public, a social network for short videos about local events. It quickly became popular, especially in smaller cities.
Within six months, it had 10 million users and became the top app on the Play Store. By June 2021, more than 60 million people were using Public every month. Most of them were from smaller cities.
In the world of online news, Azhar Iqbal company InShorts competes with online news aggregators Daily Hunt. In the financial year 2023, Daily Hunt reported a 57% increase in revenue, reaching Rs 1,809 crore. In contrast, InShorts’ operating revenue rose 8.7% to Rs 180.90 crore.
In FY23, InShorts spent Rs 492.13 crore, a 23.5% increase from the previous year. They raised $60 million in July 2021, bringing their total funds to $165 million. This information is from their financial statements filed with the Registrar of Companies.
In the past year, Inshorts raised a total of $140 million. This new money values the company at around $550 million reported by Tracxn.