In April 2010, two brothers, Vinay Singhal and Parveen Singhal along with their friend, Shashank Vaishnav created a web page called ‘Amazing Things in the World’, while studying engineering at SRM University, Chennai. In less than two years, their web page had more than a million followers. Seeing, the massive appeal that their webpage created, the trio decided to make business out of the page. In July 2011, they decided to start their own company called Vatsana Technologies. In mid – 2013 they created a website called evrystry.com, to keep track of the number of visitors their web page had. By then the number of visitors to their web page had crossed two million! They had placed Google’s AdSense on their website. This software creates ads that are related to the content published on a website. Read more on Websites
A year into their business, they had noticed that a lot of web platforms had many viewers but very less original content. That’s when the trio decided, they would launch a website which would have original content in all categories. “A lot of other pages also had an audience, but had no content. That is when we came up with the idea of starting a platform that would have original content across several categories”, said Singhal. In September 2014, the trio had remodeled their business and launched WittyFeed, a Web platform for content creators, readers and publishers. It has been a successful journey ever since. “Today, WittyFeed is the world’s second – largest viral content company in terms of traffic numbers, and it is the largest such company in India”, beams Singhal.
Indore – based WittyFeed, publishes content on categories such as Sports, News, Fashion, Lifestyle, Health, Fitness etcetera and posts ads related to the content published. This helps various brands reach their targeted audience. “Brands share their message, target group, audience and the budget and we take care of the rest within our ecosystem to make sure that the intended brand message goes viral”, said Singhal. The startup also works with ad networks, ad exchanges, demand-side platforms and trading desks where all these players buy WittyFeed’s display ad inventory in real time. “Currently, this is our major source of revenue”, said Singhal, Co-founder and CEO of WittyFeed.
When the co – founders first took up entrepreneurship, while still studying engineering at SRM, they found the task very daunting. They had to face the challenges of picking the right business, creating a market for their website and funding their business apart from their academic ordeals and managing with little income. “Since we were managing our studies and business together, we had to deal with academic pressure and the stress of running our show simultaneously, that too with limited earnings”, said Singhal. At one point, one of the major ad networks mistook their startup as a spam site and had thrice suspended their AdSense account. “Now we are among the top 200 websites in the world, ranked by Alexa, with 80 – 100 million unique visitors to our site every month and more than 250-300 million monthly page views. All of this while we are still a bootstrapped company”, said 26 year old Singhal.
The founders had invested only Rs. 20,000 when they had first founded the company. But today, their website is the top 75 most read website in the U.S. and the top 25 most read website in the U.K. “The venture has consumed our days, our nights, our weekends and our holidays. We were left with almost no money on eight occasions and we faced all this without our families being in the know,” says Singhal. He cites his company’s success to his team’s resilience, hard work and passion. This enabled them to overcome great barriers to their business. WittyFeed had revenue of Rs. 26 crores in 2015 – 16 and is now focusing more on the U.S. market, which constitutes 30% of its web traffic. “We expect to double our top line to Rs. 50 crores this financial year”, says Singhal.
The success of WittyFeed demonstrates the proverb, ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’. The founders saw an opportunity when their website, ‘Amazing Things in the World’, had many viewers. Since then, they had founded their company, overcame many business opportunities, slogged day and night without taking holidays and have finally made their venture a big success. Their company is quite useful. There are many people who prefer to read about various topics like Food, Clothing, Fashion, Jewelry, Health, Fitness etcetera online, rather than in newspapers. This trend is good since it saves paper! The various companies are also able to advertise their products to their targeted audience through their website. The fact that the founders of the company are Indians and that their website is among the top 25 in UK and top 75 in the US is a matter of great pride for India. Read more on Startup News