Content monetisation platform ConsCent has raised USD 1.75 million (about Rs 14 crore) in a funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures, a top official of the company said on Tuesday.
Early stage funds Varanium Capital, RiSo Capital, SucSEED Innovation Fund, Sigurd Ventures, AngelList, PitchRight Ventures, and angels like Quess Corp’s Vijay Sivaram, former Rivigo Co-founder Gazal Kalra etc also participated in the round. This is ConsCent’s second funding round since it raised a seed capital of Rs 4 crore in August 2020 from AngelList, WhiteBoard Capital, PitchRight Ventures; and marquee angels like Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Innov8’s Ritesh Malik, Droom’s Sandeep Agarwal, BharatPe’s Suhail Sameer, and Mamaearth’s Varun Alagh.
ConsCent co-founder and CEO Sunny Sen told PTI that the company plans to use the fund for hiring technology talents, expanding sales and marketing team and investment in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools for developing in-house technology for content monetisation. He said when ConsCent started commercial operation in April 2021, there was hardly any content behind paywall, but now large media houses are putting 1 per cent of their content behind paywall.
“We expect it to grow to 3-4 per cent by end of this fiscal. At ConsCent, we are reducing friction for users to access content across various platforms at an affordable price based on pay-per-use model and at the same time giving content creators optimum value of their content,” Sen said. The startup at present provides technology to India Today Group (India Today, Cosmopolitan, and Business Today), Outlook India Group (Outlook India and Outlook Business), MidDay, Indian Retailer, Amar Ujala, Udayavani, Amar Chitra Katha, EPIC On, Tinkle Comics, and New Indian Express.
Sen said price per article is decided by the media houses and they also are free to customise their offerings to attract users. “Now we plan to enhance our AI and ML capability to enhance ease of accessing content, and provide access content to users based on their usage pattern. We will expand our technology team and launch over 15 new products and features over the next 12 months, in the areas of payments, engagement and retention, and design,” Sen said.
ConsCent claims to have acquired 5 lakh users. The next six months will be critical for ConsCent as the venture eyes expanding operations beyond India and deepening its penetration into the Indian subcontinent, Sen said. “Increasingly, serious readers are preferring to move to a subscription-led model because amidst the noise it is challenging and time-consuming to get meaningful content.
“ConsCent’s pioneering approach of pay-per-use subscription model promises to provide premium content and also enables like-minded people to connect, strengthen their partnership and monetise their service,” Inflection Point Ventures co-founder Mitesh Shah said.