Gurgaon-based Growthword Digital Pvt Ltd, which showcases Indian startups and digital businesses through its online platform iamWire, has secured an undisclosed amount in angel funding from a bunch of Chinese and Indian investors.
The company has raised capital from Li Tao (founder and CEO of APUS Group), Li Jian (founder and CEO of Draphant Consultants), Nitin Garg, Saurabh Jain and Mohit Agarwal, as per details on the iamWire website.
The proceeds from this round will be used to build technology and products that can be leveraged by entrepreneurs for knowledge building and fundraising purposes. iamWire will also deploy money to expand its content portfolio, the statement said.
“Witnessing the rise of cross-geography transactions among either ‘investor-to-startup’ or ‘startup-to-vendor’ in the internet space, we believe iamWire can play a major role to bring together all key stakeholders in the technology space. Our vision is to help professionals understand and adopt technology innovation…to achieve scale in their respective businesses and careers,” said Abhinav Dinesh, co-founder and CEO of iamWire.
iamWire is a news and information platform for digital businesses, technology and culture. It claims to be a launch-pad for startups through its ‘Submit Your Startup’ offering.
Founded in 2011, iamWire was incubated by Wirefoot India Technology Pvt Ltd, a technology consulting and incubation company, which also counts Hotify (a personalised news curation app) and Comezzo (an end-to-end content marketing & native ad-tech company) as portfolio companies. In March, iamWire was spun into a new company under the aegis of Growthword Digital Pvt Ltd.
“Both me and Garg see a great potential in iamWire becoming a technology product catering to professionals seeking growth in their respective businesses via knowledge, funding, getting expertise for tasks and so on. So, we spun iamWire into a new company earlier this year,” said Sugandh Dhawan, co-founder and COO of iamWire. The company expects to close Series A funding by October.
The investment into iamWire comes as another sign that angel investors in India and overseas are willing to bet on niche content-led digital brands, many of which are primarily based on advertising with some ancillary revenue opportunities, such as events and job-boards.
Earlier this month, YourStory.com raised capital in a venture funding round from Kalaari Capital with participation of Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, former Infosys board member T V Mohandas Pai and Qualcomm Ventures.
In January, Ver Se Innovation Pvt Ltd, which runs mobile news aggregation and book downloads app NewsHunt, raised $40 million from Falcon Edge Capital, Omidyar Network Advisors, Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital India in a Series C round, just four months after raising a $18 million Series B round.
In July, mobile news curator News in Shorts, which aggregates third-party news and presents it in 60 words, received $20 million in a Series B round from existing investor, Tiger Global.
Reflecting the challenges of monetising news in India, both companies have since renamed themselves with NewsHunt becoming DailyHunt and News in Shorts becoming InShorts.
iamWire’s content business and some of its products compete with VCCircle and Techcircle.in’s offerings. The parent of VCCircle Network—whose business lines include subscription data products, events, training programmes and a subscription-led news website and app focused on the startup ecosystem as well as business at large in India—was acquired by News Corp in March.