Times Internet-backed Instamedia, a Shimla-based content network, has been sold off by the investors to a Dubai-based media group. The buyout happened in June last year and the founder of Instamedia (earlier known as Instablogs), Ankit Maheshwari, has again started a new venture. The new initiative, called Betaout, is a SaaS platform aimed at building tools and software for publishers and digital agencies.
One of the first products of Betaout is ContentCloud, an editorial project management software application that enables users to plug in to their chosen content management system (CMS). "It aims to help digital agencies and content networks manage their editorial processes," Maheshwari told Techcircle in an e-mail message.
He also informed that Instamedia was sold as they thought "the new owners will run it well. Eventually, Instablogs was rebranded as Instamedia and was sold to a Dubai-based media group. It was getting around 20 million page views when it was sold," said a blog post.
Earlier, Satyan Gajwani of Times Internet said this about Instamedia, "Despite a great team, a number of macro factors worked against us, namely Google's increased shift away from new publishers. As a result, the model didn't scale the way we hoped and the business has scaled back from its initial goals."
Some other investments of Times Internet are Fab.com, ZipDial, NetCarrots and Affle.
Instamedia was also a part of the first batch of incubatees at The Morpheus and counted Vishal Gondal as its investor. Gondal has also joined the advisory board at Betaout, but has not invested in the firm.
"We have just released our Version 1 and for now, we are keen to acquire new clients. We are also planning to launch more products to help out publishers and digital agencies. But currently, we are only working on ContentCloud," shared Maheshwari.
Comparing the two ventures, Instamedia and Betaout, Maheshwari said, "In Instamedia, we invested in building our own proprietary CMS called Instapress. That's because we started in 2005 and found that Wordpress and other open source CMS were not advanced enough at that time for multiple site management. But now I realise it was a mistake as Wordpress and Drupal have matured very fast. However, back in 2005, both Wordpress and Drupal were just blogging tools. At my new company Betaout, I am going to change all that. We are going to build tools and platforms which will not compete with open source platforms, but will complement them. Instamedia was a content network and we also built our own CMS. But our primary business was running lifestyle sites like Gizmowatch.com. On the other hand, Betaout is a complete cloud-based software company whose only focus will be building tools and platforms."
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)