This media start up has sorted out profitability from crisp content. Here's how

What makes this Azhar Iqubal unique? Well, it’s his honesty to his business. Founded four years back by three musketeers of the Indian Institute of Technology Azhar Iqubal (Delhi), Anunay Arunav (Delhi) and Deepit Purkayastha (Kharagpur), Inshorts has sorted out the revenue model for itself.

Four years since its inception, news aggregation start up Inshorts has been christened as the country's highest rated news app , awarded the 'Best Innovation App' by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) at the 6 th India Digital Awards while its founders bagged mentions at Forbes India's '30 under 30 list of young achievers' and Fortune Magazine's coveted list of 40 under 40.

The news aggregation app has about 8 million subscribers from a paltry 100,000 subscribers in December 2014.

Till last year, the co-founders were not looking at monetization or actively working on revenue stream for a year. Things have changed now. According to Iqubal, “Inshorts has emerged as a go-to-platform for brands focusing on millennial marketing. Brands Across verticals are including in brand activation targeting millennials. Some of the major brands being - Dell, Vivo, Oppo, One Plus 5, Lenovo , Renault , Maruti Swift , Kotak Mahindra, Polaroid etc.”

Most users of Inshorts use smartphones priced over Rs 10,000, which make them good target for brands

How will the money flow in?

Inshorts has already partnered with a few top notch brands and branded content is what driving their coffers. The mantra of news in 60-words has appealed to the fan base whose morning routine now includes reading at least 10 news stories a day. This in return gives Inshorts a superb engagement on app. And that’s how Iqubal wants to thrive his business on. In an age of advertising as storytelling, it starts with deciding what stories to tell that are worthy of an audience’s time.


The news market is still emerging. While Iqubal admits of apps like Daily Hunt and UC News being direct competitor, he believes, what Inshorts does is unique in terms of shortening the news and feeding more content to a single user. Out of 200 stories uploaded every day, an user reads at least 20 stories all over the day. And with billions of page views (counted as one swipe per 60 –word story) every month, Inshorts has achieved a feat in the crowded market.


Inshorts had raised $24 million from two rounds of fund raising, both led by Tiger Global. Now after offering English and Hindi, Inshorts wants to go USA or Singapore, which is again a matter of time.