Led by New York firm Tiger Global.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: News in Shorts, an Indian startup that provides a news digest app for iOS and Android, has raised a $4 million Series A spearheaded by New York-based investment firm Tiger Global.
Other investors during the Series A round included Japan’s Rebright Partners and existing contributors Sachin and Binny Bansal, better known as the founders or Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.
News in Shorts is a news aggregating service that distinguishes itself from the competition by putting its own spin on making current events more accessible. In order to match the ever quickening lifestyles of its target audience in India, the company provides 60-word summaries of the day’s top stories, ranging from national and international news to sports and entertainment. Each gist is written by a member of the startup’s in-house team of editors and includes a link to a story containing further details. Users can also choose to receive push notification on their device regarding any given story or topic.
With its new injection of funding, News in Shorts hopes to grow to between 2.5 million and five million downloads by the end of 2015 after being downloaded over 100,000 times to date. In order to do so, the 16-person team currently running News in Shorts will grow to 60 over the upcoming few months. Half of the new recruits will serve on the editorial staff while the remaining team members will be split between operations, marketing, and tech, said 22-year-old CEO Azhar Iqbal during an interview with TechCrunch.
While 100,000 is by no means a paltry figure to be scoffed at, it also isn’t mind blowing. However, Tiger Global — a firm that raises billions of dollars in funding per annum — is overtly interested in the project due to the level of user-engagement the app has garnered thus far. Iqbal claimed 40 percent of all registered users log in each week, while its daily users browse an average of 50 stories per day.
“Clutter free and immensely fast, News In Shorts gains the faith of a user in a short period of time. We believe in the immense potential and high traction that the application is already getting, and this round of funding will give wings to their ambitions,” said Sachin Bansal in a statement.
Tiger Global’s Lee Fixel added that the New Delhi-based startup could “revolutionize the way content is being consumed on mobile devices. The 60word news ‘shorts’ [are] just a step towards that goal.”