Exactly one year from today, we were three people sitting at the archaic Indian Coffee House, in Connaught Place, mulling over hot coffee in the chilly winters of Delhi, on an idea. The coffee, The winters, the inexperienced founders, its all too nostalgic. We are glad its no more an idea but a fully functional platform known today as Inc42.
Today we’ve grown to a team of over 10 people, sitting out of our office in East Delhi, and hiring rapidly! 2014 has been an amazing year for us — a year of incredible highs (incredible lows too) & immense learning.
Running a media company has been a very different kind of experience from a product or a service company. We’ve made a lot of friends as well as enemies. We’ve, hopefully, built out a small following of loyal readers and well wishers with our rhetoric, who’ve supported us along the way.
The Stereotype – Fundraising
With media being a sensitive business, revenues don’t come in easily, even if you are doing pretty well (Media = Pageviews, which we do not agree upon), so we thought of raising some funds so that we can continue our journey and grow without being dependent on external factors.
When we started seeking funds, most of the Janta (investors, VC’s, Startups, Accelerators and all else) professed that it is possible for man to reach the SUN, but you being a six month old media company and with no IITian co-founders and almost negligible revenue and of course minimalistic pageviews, will never be able to raise money.
Well, we listened to them, pondered over it and then ignored it. We are thankfull to some amazing friends who connected us to some amazing investors who do not care about returns, or pageviews, or revenues, or the team’s pedigree. Well, they shared our vision and trusted us enough to invest in us.
Recently, we closed our angel round of funding led by Ritesh Malik of Guerrilla Ventures, Nikunj Jain of Innox apps (now Frankly.me), Dewang Neralla, CEO & Director Atom Technologies, Prabhu Ram, Ex-EBS and a few more who wish to remain unnamed.
On a side note, we’d like to assure all our readers that our product i.e. our content, will not be influenced by any of the investors on board in any way and the content is and will always be in complete control of the editorial team of Inc42.
Our First Event — StartupDash
The year, though started out slowly, picked up pace for us by the time our first event series came up, StartupDash.
We had teamed up with TLabs, one of India’s leading startup accelerators, to conduct India’s first highly curated event for early stage startups, with the mission of acting as a catalyst for startups at the MVP or early product stage.
StartupDash was designed on the lean startup principle and provided the complete package — Launchpad, Team Building, PitchUp and Mentorship Opportunities for startups and was conducted in the 3 major startup hubs of India — Delhi, Pune and Bangalore.
Despite it being our first ever event, we received a tremendous response of over 500+ startup applications. We handpicked less than 40 startups for the 3 days of extensive mentorship and eventually 10 of these 40 selected startups were announced as winners across the 3 cities.
Out of the 10 winners, 3 startups were taken directly into it’s acceleration program by TLabs and 1 startup went on to raise nearly $632k in funding post the event.
In case you missed out on it, to find out about all the startups that pitched at StartupDash, the winners of each edition and more, you can checkout the StartupDash feed on Inc42 here.
“The true method of knowledge is experiment” — William Blake
As a startup, if you’re not constantly experimenting with new things, you’re setting yourself up for failure. And so at Inc42, we’ve constantly tried to experiment with anything we could get our hands over — from headlines to new ways of storytelling, from font sizes to the complete site revamps, we’ve experimented on it all.
Over the past couple of months our latest experiment was with three new article formats:
Funding Galore & News Roundups: There’s a lot of content out there, a lot of stories, news and fundings happening on a daily basis. As a reader, one can get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stories going around. So we simply decided to publish weekly roundup stories on the fundings and big headlines of the week that you should stay on top of. Just tune in on the weekends with a cup of coffee to get a glimpse of the whole week in under 5 minutes.
In Focus: A collection of special series’ of articles in which we focus on a particular topic, trend, industry or entity in detail through a series of regular articles for a set period of time. While some series can be as short as a month, others can last for much longer periods.
The last two in particular got an amazing response and we’re pretty sure you’d have come across a few articles from these series’!
DataLab: We are very bullish on the role that data will play in the field of journalism in the years to come. With this in mind we came out with our first DataLab story — The Indian Tech Startup Funding Report of 2014, comprising of in-depth analysis of all funding deals that happened in 2014, emerging ecosystem trends and a lot more.
What’s In Store for 2015?
Announcing Two Brand New Events
With the dawn of 2015, we at Inc42 thought of innovating the way interactions and networking happens in the corridors of the tech and startup industry in India.
While there are many great conferences, meetups, office get togethers, we thought of coming up with a platform which has a singular motive — To bring together the who’s who of the tech and startup world together in a room with a chilled out environment, Introducing Pulse42.
Pulse42 is a series of exclusive invite-only tech parties in the most happening metro cities of India i.e. Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, spread across the year. Its purpose is to bring together, inform and inspire the movers and shakers of Indian tech and startup community.
The second event that we will announce soon is StartupRetreat, a weekend-long retreat at an exotic location with a mix of 30 like minded Entrepreneurs, Creators, Doers and Makers along with a touch of adventure. Startup Retreat’s goal is to bring a group of diverse, aspiring entrepreneurs together to learn from each other, work together and have a lot of fun.
An Event Listing Platform (Beta):
Did you miss out on that awesome event that happened last weekend? Missed out on an awesome networking opportunity or a super interesting workshop? Not any more!
There are 100’s of tech and startup events that are happening around us every month and it’s getting really hard to keep track of them. Why search on 10 different sites when you can get it all under one roof. Checkout our events listing section (under beta) here and feel free to ping us with your feedback. We’ll also be opening it up to the public soon so that you can start adding your events to it as well.
And Much More
These were just a small sneak peak into some of the exciting things coming up this year. There are lot more bigger announcements that’ll follow over the coming weeks. So stay tuned and have an awesome new year ahead! Cheers!!