About the Platform.
Pebble is a hyperlocal content marketplace, connecting reporters and publishers directly. For the first time in the world, reporters can set the price of the story while publishers can buy a story on per piece basis. Publishers pay no subscription fee.
Pebble has been founded by Anil Kumar whose last company Locovida has been invested in by Times Internet Ltd. Prior to these two startups, Anil headed the digital business at Amar Ujala where he built a strong internet presence for Amar Ujala.
Whom do we cater to?
We are a b2b platform and intend to solve the content and price discovery problem for the media industry. Our clients are publishers who need content from across the world but can’t get verified content from small places.
What do we offer to our consumers?
A publisher is heavily dependent on their own content writing teams, their field reporters network or from news wire agencies. However, these models are costly and inefficient.
Today, the readership (print, tv and online) is reaching Tier 2 and 3 towns and cities, thanks to deeper penetration of smartphones and internet service providers.
Using existing content creation and acquisition models, a publisher can’t reach this last mile new user. Pebble solves that for a publisher. Simply by creating an account on Pebble, the publisher gets access to hyperlocal stories from across the country (and in future, across the world) by a simple click of a button. The publisher can choose the story that makes sense to their current audience. Or they can launch a new category, language or an edition by buying stories for that audience.
Content writers on Pebble are connected to the media industry and are verified people.
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What motivated us to start up?
My previous startup Locovida was helping regional publishers build a scalable and profitable digital business by offering them technology, ad revenues, traffic and advisory. We worked with more than 180 publishers in the country. However, we realised that each publisher is just trying to milk their existing (loyal) reader many times over and not creating content for the new audience that exists beyond their stronghold.
We also met a lot of field reporters and discovered that more than 80 % of the daily content they produce actually does not find space in the newspaper/TV due to space limitation. 80 % of the daily effort of so many reporters going waste!
Publishers wanted a risk free, low-cost content acquisition model which increases their ability to attract a newer audience.
So we thought of creating a marketplace exclusively for the media industry addressing these challenges.
What’s in a name?
Pebble when dropped in a body of water, creates ripples that act as the catalyst of change. The media industry has been a passive recipient of disruptions happening elsewhere. Facebook, twitter, google are prime examples of how content creation and curation has shifted from media org to these software companies. Pebble, through its innovation and deeper embedding within the media industry, hopes to innovate and help the ecosystem as an insider.
How do we see Social Media?
Until a last couple of years, social media was the go-to place for all brands who wanted to target their audience. It allowed unparalleled access to a niche audience for all products and services, thanks to the horde of data about individuals that these platforms had. However, much has changed. Now social media is grappling with fake news, propaganda and privacy concerns.
By bringing content written by verified individuals, we believe Pebble will do a cleaning job for a lot of content organizations on social media
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Currently, we are….
We formally launched a month ago. In this short span, our network is present in 58 districts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and has produced more than 700 hyperlocal stories so far. In some cases, we broke the same story a day earlier than any other wire agency.
Our clients include Network18, Punjab Kesari, Navodaya Times and Opera, with many more adding every day
Our biggest challenge was..
At the initial stage, our challenge was, to remain focused on the original pebble proposition, in the midst of prevalent and popular business models.
We want to dominate the world by..
Pebble is a shrink-wrapped idea and can be launched in other countries. We already have queries from Pakistan and Kenya. We hope to launch in one more country by next year and make it a global platform in three years to come.
We’re making moolah by…
We earn a fee from the content sold by the reporter.
Our What The **** Moment
Hunting for the right kind of lights, we crisscrossed the city shops. Finally, the lights were aesthetically placed, in angles to fall on each piece of furniture, to only realize One day in the middle of work”…oh F*** we do NOT need lights. This cinematic amazonian experience is surrounded by 6*4 glass windows on three sides.
Ahh, the joys of setting it up yourself!
Industry as we foresee
We feel social media industry will align itself to clean content as more and more brands will push to their ads/engagement been shown alongside a neat content. Social media is going through that churn and Pebble is the ideal go-to platform to help solve that.
Lastly, Are you hiring?
We are hiring big time in tech and client servicing.