Success Story of Azhar Iqubal, Inshorts Founder as New Judge of Shark Tank India Season 3

Hemant Kumar

Azhar Iqubal Startup Story of Inshorts

Meet Azhar Iqubal, co-founder and CEO of Inshorts, a news platform that provides short and crisp news in a summarized format in just 60 words. Now he has become a new judge of the startup pitching television series, Shark Tank India Season 3.

The business reality TV show became a great hit with its first season in 2021 where startup founders pitch the so-called sharks (investors) for funding. Anupam Mittal, Peyush Bansal, Ashneer Grover, Aman Gupta, Vineeta Singh, Namita Thapar, Ghazal Alakh and CarDekho founder Amit Jain have been into Shark Tank India as a shark, and now Ritesh Agarwal, Deepinder Goyal and Azhar Iqubal will be joining the jury of sharks in the third season.

Azhar Iqubal is a successful entrepreneur whose journey started from a Facebook page and then building Inshorts into one of the most used news apps that offers short and crisp news in just 60 words.

Inshorts has over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store, and it is a widely used news app because of its summarized news taken from multiple national and international sources.

Startup Story of Azhar Iqubal

Studying at IIT Delhi, Azhar Iqubal decided to start a Facebook page called News in Shorts in 2013 along with his IIT classmates Anunay Arunav and Deepit Purkayastha (who was then at IIT Kharagpur). The idea was simple, to provide news summaries in an easy language with links to original sources, and soon it began to get interest from readers.

A few months later, they were admitted to a startup accelerator program, TLabs, backed by the Times Internet group where they learnt a lot about entrepreneurship and building a successful company.

What started as News in Shorts, soon got renamed as Inshorts and readers began to heavily use their time-saving offering. Their app provides all news in a summarised format in sixty words or less, and who doesn’t want to be updated with worldwide events and also save some time by reading less?

The idea of Inshorts is to re-connect the generation with the habit of reading news. Knowing that this generation is always on the go, we make sure that the user stays updated,” said Azhar Iqubal in an interview with Asia Teach Daily.

Today, the Inshorts app has more than 10 million downloads and people use it as a go-to news platform to get updated with the latest news in a short and concise format. Now, Inshorts is worth crores of rupees and the journey of the co-founders is also inspiring.

After the success of Inshorts, Azhar Iqubal again started a company named Public in 2019 which is a location-based social network and news platform. With over 100 million downloads and over a million videos being created every month, it has also become India’s largest location-based social network providing the latest updates of your city through short videos.

Sharing the news of becoming a judge on Shark Tank India, Azhar reflected on his startup journey on the social media platform, Instagram.

He said, “Ten years ago, as I was stepping into my 20s, I took a leap of faith and dropped out of IIT Delhi to start Inshorts. The last decade has been a wild ride, full of excitement. Those tireless nights resulted in making a mark in the social media industry. A decade later, as I step into my 30s, we are today one of the largest players in our space with 1.2 crore Indians using our apps every day.

On Shark Tank India Season 3, I want to tell the youth of India that where you come from and whether you have a degree or not does not matter; what matters is whether you have hunger, discipline and focus. And if you have it in you, I am here to support you in fulfilling your entrepreneurial dream,” he added.

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