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Meet Azhar Iquebal, the entrepreneur who built a 4000 crore news company and is now a Shark on Shark Tank India Season 3

1. Azhar Iquebal, originally from Kishanganj, Bihar, enrolled in IIT Delhi for engineering in mathematics and computer science but dropped out after three years, opting to pursue entrepreneurship.

2. Alongside two classmates from IIT Delhi, Azhar founded a Facebook page called "News in Shorts," offering concise news pieces of 60 words or less, aiming to make news consumption easier.

3. The Facebook page gained rapid traction, accumulating 20,000 likes within 30 days and reaching 1 million likes by the year's end, attracting attention beyond social media platforms.

4. Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart and an alumnus of IIT Delhi like Azhar, offered seed investment of Rs 10 lakh after being impressed by the concept, leading to the rebranding of the initiative as "Inshorts" in 2015.

5. Recognizing the potential in vernacular news, Azhar expanded Inshorts to include Hindi news, which garnered significant success, achieving a high rating of 4.6 and attracting investment from Tiger Global.

6. With financial backing, Azhar diversified Inshorts by incorporating videos, infographics, and blogs, leading to a surge in app downloads and subsequent investment from Tiger Global.

7. Despite initial revenue challenges, Azhar introduced custom in-app ads, partnering with e-commerce brands and charging based on impressions, which significantly boosted revenue.

8. Despite impressive growth, Inshorts faced difficulty penetrating Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, prompting Azhar to innovate further.

9. In 2019, Azhar launched Public, a location-based social news app allowing users to share local news, which quickly gained popularity, doubling Inshorts' revenue to 50 crore.

10. By April 2021, Inshorts and Public collectively amassed over 70 million users and generated revenue exceeding 100 crore through their advertising model, leading to substantial investment and a valuation of 4000 crore.

Today, Inshorts stands as the leading English news app, while Public has become the top local app, solidifying Azhar Iquebal's status as a successful entrepreneur and a prominent figure on Shark Tank India.


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