Updated below with a corrigendum
Info Edge India has approved an investment of “upto Rs. 10 million” in Nogle Technologies Private Limited, which intends, to launch a content sharing portal called Blinkk.me, Co-Founder Siddharth Goyal told MediaNama. Nogle currently operates an online information sharing portal called ynotshare.com, which is a content aggregator that asks readers to email content to them, and then categorizes and republishes the same content, including images, on its site.
Blinkk.me is expected to launch by the end of May, Goyal said. It will be a content publishing platform which allows users to contribute content in two ways: Firstly, they can contribute content through a central repository – “Facebook allows you to share content, with your name, but if you don’t want it to be linked to you, you can push it to the central repository. The user viewing the content will not know your name, but Nogle will, because you’ll be using Facebook Connect”. Secondly, people can maintain their own page or blog. “The idea is that we are making it more intelligent, and easier to do so.
There are serious copyright violation concerns with YNotShare (it looks no different from a spam blog; for example, they’re republishing newsletters, including images), and Goyal said that they intend to take YNotShare down, because it was just a proof of concept: it was meant to showcase the technology aspect of parsing email, and converting it into a post, and intelligent tagging. “We wanted to show to the investors that the parsing will be intelligent, and it understands formatting,” Goyal said.
Goyal says that Blinkk.me is not similar to sites like Slashdot, Reddit, StumbleUpon, which tend to index external content, but more about users putting original content on their site, largely focused on images. At the same time, it will allow users to submit URLs.
Info Edge’s Investment In Nogle
Two of the three co-founders of Nogle: Goyal and Vibhu Bhushan are former Info Edge employees, while Abhinav Gupta was with IBM. Ambarish Raghuvanshi, Group President Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Info Edge told MediaNama that they’re not investing a large sum of money, and it’s a preliminary, small investment, for a small minority stake. Most such investments, he said, have rights of first refusal, and are linked to performance milestones.
This is a shift in Info Edge’s investment pattern: it has typically invested in businesses with a clear route to monetization, and most of them not related to the content domain. However, Raghuvanshi disagrees: “For external investments, we’re a lot more open. Some ideas evolve over 2-3 years. We started with a narrow prism, but since then we’ve done content (investments) through meritnation. Monetization (with Nogle) is pretty uncertain. Bit it’s worth taking that punt, and it’s something we’re comfortable with, because these are ex-employees.”
Corrigendum: We’d incorrectly mentioned Siddharth Goyal’s name as Siddharth Goel, an error that has been replicated across multiple sites. Our apologies for the mistake.