Inshorts Success Story: The Untold Story of Inshort Rise to Success! | Inshorts Business Model

Inshorts Success Story: Azhar Iqubal, the Co-Founder and CEO of Inshorts, embarked on his entrepreneurial journey after leaving behind the Mathematics and Computer Science programs at IIT Delhi. His bold decision paved the way for the development and growth of Inshorts, a groundbreaking digital journalism platform. Azhar’s inspiring leadership has been instrumental in reshaping how people access news in the digital age. Notably, he has also joined Season 3 of Shark Tank India as a Shark, where his expertise promises to make a significant impact on the startup and investment landscape.

Deepit Purkayastha, the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Inshorts, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Armed with degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Kharagpur, Deepit’s entrepreneurial journey began alongside Azhar Iqubal and Anunay Arunav during their final year at the institute. His tech background and entrepreneurial spirit have played a pivotal role in reshaping news consumption in the digital age.

Anunay Arunav, another Co-Founder of Inshorts, is a distinguished professional with a background in Integrated MTech in Mathematics and Computing from IIT Delhi. His internship at SparkTG provided him with real-world experience, further enriching his academic achievements.

Inshorts – A Startup Story

The inception of Inshorts stemmed from the keen observations of three forward-thinking individuals who recognized the growing gap between Indian youth and traditional long-form news formats. The trio, driven by their vision, launched a minimal viable product (MVP) in the form of a Facebook page offering news summaries in a concise “Shorts” format. Encouraged by positive market feedback, they took a leap of faith by quitting their education and dedicating themselves entirely to their new venture. In 2015, Inshorts was born, propelled by a seed round of funding from Times Internet and a consortium of angel investors, including the founders of Flipkart. This marked the beginning of Inshorts’ extraordinary journey in revolutionizing news consumption for the dynamic lives of the youth.

Inshorts – Mission and Vision

The mission of Inshorts is to provide seamless access to personalized and concise informative content, both locally and globally. Their vision is to become the global leader in digital information delivery.

Inshorts – Products and Services

Inshorts offers a dynamic news app that curates the most recent and relevant news from various domestic and international sources. Its unique approach of condensing complex stories into concise 60-word summaries, tailored to individual preferences in Hindi or English, sets it apart. Additionally, Inshorts offers the Public app, a location-based social network that facilitates real-time local updates, particularly beneficial for users in Tier II and Tier III cities.

Inshorts – Business Model and Revenue Model

Inshorts operates on a straightforward business model focused on providing users with quick, engaging, and personalized news updates. The platform generates revenue primarily through advertising, leveraging its high user engagement to attract advertisers. Advertisers pay based on performance metrics such as impressions and interactions, with annual contracts ensuring a consistent revenue flow for Inshorts.

Inshorts – Challenges Faced

Inshorts encountered challenges in navigating the evolving landscape of vertical video formats, particularly as an early adopter alongside industry giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Balancing development initiatives with consumer demands proved to be crucial, highlighting the importance of strategic innovation aligned with market dynamics.

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Inshorts – Funding and Investors

Inshorts has raised $164.9 million in nine funding rounds, with leading investors such as Vy Capital and Tiger Global Management contributing to its growth.

Inshorts – Mergers and Acquisitions

Inshorts acquired Betaglide, a Bangalore-based web analytics startup, in October 2015, integrating its software to enhance client retention.

Inshorts – Growth

As of January 2024, Inshorts has expanded its presence to over 660 districts and delivers over 1 million video local updates. The platform has shared over 1 billion stories and boasts more than 100 million users, catering to diverse linguistic preferences.

Financial Overview:

Inshorts witnessed fluctuations in its financial performance between FY22 and FY23:

Operating Revenue:

  • FY22: Rs 166 crore
  • FY23: Rs 181 crore

Total Expenses:

  • FY22: Rs 399 crore
  • FY23: Rs 492 crore


  • FY22: Loss of Rs 232 crore
  • FY23: Loss of Rs 310 crore

Expenses Breakdown:

Inshorts experienced a rise in total expenses from Rs 399 crore in FY22 to Rs 492 crore in FY23.


  • EBITDA Margin FY22: -133%
  • EBITDA Margin FY23: -143%
  • Expenses per Rs of Op Revenue FY22: Rs 2.40
  • Expenses per Rs of Op Revenue FY23: Rs 2.72

Marketing Strategy:

Inshorts employed a distinctive marketing strategy, focusing on user-centric approaches:

User-Centric Criteria:

Prioritized user experience over conventional metrics such as time spent on the platform or content virality.

User-Friendly Interface:

Streamlined the app interface by eliminating prompts, empowering users with control, and delivering concise stories devoid of external links.

Personalization for User Preferences:

Implemented personalized news delivery, catering to individual preferences and ensuring relevance to diverse user needs.

Strategic Data Analysis:

Leveraged data analytics to make informed decisions, identifying strengths and weaknesses to guide product releases and editorial focus effectively.

Customer-Centric Approach:

Tailored the app interface to accommodate varied information consumption habits across different urban demographics, reflecting a deep understanding of local variations.

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