Network18s Internet company Web18 is planning to relaunch UrbanEye Media, a company founded by current Web18 COO Rishi Khiani; UrbanEye has been acquired by Web18 in 2007. While I may not have quite agreed with Web18s approach over the past two years, I have been a fan of UrbanEye’s work, and their focus on usability.
What’s interesting about this development is that the company is looking to resurrect a revenue stream – Services – while another (Advertising) may be on the decline. Khiani told MediaNama that they have a development team of around 30 people at UrbanEye; when the company was acquired, they were about 27 people.
With the services business coming into the picture, the company will have one team working on Web18 properties and products, while another will be focused on external clients. Khiani says that they’ve been getting inquiries for developing “large portals” for quite a while now. But is the services business supposed to compensate for a decline in advertising revenues? Khiani says no – there is no decline, and they’re looking more at additional revenue streams. Web18 also plans to add some B2C features on In.com – like ringtone downloads, as an additional revenue stream.
Burrp Deal, InDrive, IM, Downloads
is a city-specific information section at In.com, which covers events, local restaurants and TV schedules. This appears to be powered by Burrp.com. Do keep in mind that Burrp has received investments from Network18 Group CEO Haresh Chawla, so this may be viewed as a related party deal. Also, the last time we checked, Burrp was not a part of Network18 (corporate structure
). The site also now features free ringtone, wallpaper and game downloads
Two other products that the company has now launched are InDrive – with 10 GB space for hosting documents, photos and music. The second is a rather rudimentary instant messenger that allows you to sign in and chat with your friends from In.com, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, AIM and GTalk. Web18 appears to be pulling all the stops to ensure that users don’t leave the In.com ecosystem. Khiani told MediaNama that they’re working with a partner for an improved version of the messenger.
Varun Singh Confirms Move
Web18 CTO Varun Singh, last week, confirmed to MediaNama that he has put in his papers, and is starting a company in the web architecture and infrastructure space. The company will be called ScaleArc, and will focus on using open source applications to reduce costs.
Disclosure: I own a few shares of Network18. Web18 is a part of the Network18 group.