Five years ago, on 1st July 2015, when Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Digital India initiative, India set forth on the path of digital transformation. An inspiring story of inclusion, transformation, growth, and empowerment through NewsReach digitalize, digital technologies have unraveled since then. All sectors, including education, pharma, food, entertainment, and so on, are now treading the digital path and the news industry is no bar.
By 2030, 1 billion people will be connected to the internet in India. Naturally, the industry will then be looking at a multifold surge in the demand for news content. An interesting fact to note here is that, as per reports, over 90% of these internet users will prefer to access the content in local & regional languages. These audiences from tier II/III/IV cities would connect better with regional language and hyperlocal content, as opposed to English content. But the big question is, are we ready? Sadly, it seems as if we are not. There’s just 1% of relevant supply to meet this projected surge in demand.
Furthermore, these local and regional visitors would naturally have a higher predisposition toward regional news from their respective areas. That’s where the local and regional news publishers come in. Unfortunately, these publishers are being forced to shut down their operations due to the unsustainability of the print industry in the face of digital disruption. For them, going digital is the only way to sustain. But as it happens, these regional publishers lack the resources to take their businesses online and the knowledge about content monetization, which will help them unleash the complete earning potential of their content.
Thankfully, two visionaries – Darshan and Soniya – foresaw these market dynamics and came up with a business idea which acts as a panacea to all the woes of the industry and the local publishers. Both the founders have a combined 9 years of hands-on experience in the digital advertising and monetization industry. Having worked at Vertoz Advertising, leading programmatic ad-tech and digital media companies in India, for a substantial period, they have a sound understanding of the industry’s intricacies and workings. Their extensive work in this industry-led them to discover these blaring gaps, which they endeavor to bridge through the means of NewsReach, an ecosystem of original & local news content.
NewsReach plans to revive the local news industry by digitizing it and creating visibility & marketability to publishers. It aims to disrupt the traditional business model of news buying & selling and monetize the publishers’ efforts by building programmatic publisher marketplace. It has the vision to be the largest news marketplace in the world by selling over 100K news contents across the formats such as text, images, audio, video & others globally & generating a revenue of over 100 crores in the next five years.
During their stint at Vertoz, Darshan &Soniya, pitched their idea to Hiren Shah and Ashish Shah, founders of Vertoz. Hiren & Ashish, themselves ad tech visionaries and serial entrepreneurs with over two decades of experience in technology & advertising industry found credence in the idea and the team’s execution capabilities and decided to fund the venture, resulting in the company’s pre-seed fund in 2018 December.