Info Edge Invests In Online Information Sharing Service; Q&A With Founder
Info Edge Ltd, the owners of Naukri.com, has decided to invest up to Rs 1 crore ($250,000) in Noida-based Nogle Technologies Pvt Ltd, which plans to launch a content sharing startup called Blinkk.me. The company in its communication to the stock exchanges had earlier named the website as www.ynotshare.com, which is currently not available online.
It turns out YNotShare was just a prototype and the real product is yet to launch. The website will be an online content sharing service where people can contribute and share information or articles. The portal is founded by former Info Edge employees Siddharth Goyall and Vibhu Bhushan and ex-IBMer Abhinav Gupta.
Goyal and his co-founders are yet to finalise the product name, although Blinkk.me is the most probable name for the portal so far.
Info Edge has been actively investing in start-up ventures and consumer internet companies. Its investments include Applect Learning Systems Pvt Ltd (meritnation.com) and Etechaces Consulting and Marketing Pvt Limited (policybazaar.com).
VCCircle speaks to Siddharth Goyal, an IIM Kolkata graduate, about the new venture and its business model. Goyal, who had earlier founded kitnebaje.com, says that the explosion of internet and social media will drive the growth of Blinkk.
How did you think of this idea?
With the explosion of mobile, internet and social media, there has been a tremendous jump in people's willingness to share. Everyone wants to share, contribute and once done, he/she wants others to know what one has shared.
We also found that not everyone who wants to share is a blogger. But all create content. This content is much more fast paced and casual in nature. Also, in office environment most people are creating at least 200 lines of original content in their mail boxes every day.
We wanted to source this content, structure it and make it consumable. While Facebook constitutes an instant audience, it has its own limitations, people want exposure beyond a captive 300 people set. When a typical active internet user has about 80 contacts always online, he/she seldom chats with any -- friendship is an over rated connection. Like-minded will be the word for internet in this decade.
YNS (the code for the project) actually wants to be the fastest and easiest way to reach to this content. While the users can themselves promote their content across networks like Facebook and Linkedin, YNS will promote the content among like-minded people, followers, friends, and people searching for such content.
The platform is under development so not much details can be provided till the beta stage of release. A few enthusiastic people can get hold of a private alpha release soon.
Are there any global comparable to this model?
There are vanilla products like blogger.com and tumblr.com. We want to be more intelligent and interactive like quora.com, though we aren't a question and answer portal.
What will be your business model? How do you plan to monetise?
Currently our focus is on building a product which people like and use. Monetisation possibilities can come later. We are in no hurry to sell to our users, they have to be made to feel at home first.
What will be the money used for?
The money is not the complete story. We rather chose to enter into a relationship with Info Edge, as we can benefit from their experience and mentoring. Having the right guidance from an entrepreneurship driven company, we have the advantage to learn from mistakes already committed without paying for them. This will save us precious time. A sound backing also helps us to be bold with our experiments. A brand name backing should help us attract the right set of people to work with. Besides, money helps you to be accountable, have focus and the fuel to stay on.
What are your expansion plans?
We are very cautious with man count. We believe that one good hire is better than four ordinary hires. Till now working at Nogle is real fun, we seem to like it so much that we have grown very possessive about it already. This makes us very cautious at hiring. We are looking to expand the team from 3 to 8 by end of May.
Are you looking at hiring people, ramping up capabilities, opening more offices?
We aren't looking for any fancy expansions or huge hires. The money we raised is to keep the oil burning till we experiment and iterate again and again to get to the product right.
We would be hosting our product on the cloud. So, we don't need much of infrastructure expansion for now. But currently all these are a function of usage by customers. These are happy problems to have, and we are looking forward to it. We are prepared.
Most of expansion plans are focused around intellectual capital related to our programmes and algorithms.