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YourStory Media eyes 200 mn ‘voice’ stories

Ratan Tata-backed YourStory Media aims to tell the success stories of 200 million unsung heroes and small businesses in India in their own languages, said a top official. The company, which claims to be India’s largest digital media platform for start-ups and entrepreneurs, seeks to engage readers with articles, resources, research reports and analyses.

“We have several persons in the country who cannot speak properly, but have a great story to tell,” said Shradha Sharma, founder and CEO, YourStory Media Pvt. Ltd. “They did not attract the attention of leading business dailies. So, I started focusing on them, even before they could turn heroes.” YourStory, which began in 2008, now has 145 corporate customers and a database of 80,000 founders, MSMEs and start-ups.

“Stories that we published in our website have enabled some entrepreneurs to raise funds from the corporate world.”

The decade-old firm is backed by marquee investors such as Ratan Tata and UC Berkeley (UC-RNT), Kalaari Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and 3one4 Capital.

‘August 15 roll-out’

Ms. Sharma is rolling out a mobile application on August 15 to enable these entrepreneurs to tell their story in their own voice and in their preferred language. Anyone can upload videos of success stories and they can be viewed on the app.

“We have 10 million viewers in the digital media platform and 5 million followers on social media. Our aim is to scale it up to 200 million viewers in the digital space and 20 million in social media in the next 24 months.”

For the first eight years, the company was self-funded. “We raised the first round of $2.5 million in September 2015 and $6 million in two tranches [later]. I might need more funding, if we are to get 200 million viewers. [An] SME IPO is also an option,” she said.

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