The Magzter Story
Magzter is a global digital magazine newsstand and book store. Founded by Girish Ramdas and Vijayakumar Radhakrishnan in 2011, it offers readers access to more than 6,000 of the world’s best magazines and comic books from over 2,500 publishers. With over 18 million users from more than 200 countries, Magzter is changing the way people read magazines and how publishers reach people.
In Conversation with Girish
Recipe for success
Find a market and focus 1,000% of your effort into it. Then find the right members for the core team and always look to hire the best talent. Innovate constantly. Ensure that users are the central focus of your product or service. Be quick to execute while being cognizant of the risks involved.
Your unique idea
Magzter was started with the vision of creating a digital alternative to reading print magazines at the beginning of the mobile and tablet era. Our uniqueness is not only in the breadth of our content but also in the seamless technology we’ve created to deliver a superlative user experience. We’ve expanded to become a global business with content from more than 50 countries in 30 languages reaching 26 million users. That makes us the largest digital magazine store in the world!
Partnership with Kalaari
As a fledgling startup, we met many investors, but we chose Kalaari since they ‘got it’. Many investors we met had no idea about our industry or what we were talking about. But the team at Kalaari impressed us with their commitment to their investee companies. We are truly happy that we chose Kalaari over all the others. They have played a key role in our growth and the way we go about our business. Their investment team is always trying to help us out with new ideas, connections and finding great talent. They are available at all times as a sounding board for the ideas and thoughts we have. They have been a pillar of support that we, as entrepreneurs, really need.
Your first meeting
Our first meeting with Kalaari, in our minds, was a disaster! We met the entire Investment Committee and after we’d presented, they had so many questions for us that we thought we would never be able to get funded! The final nail in our coffin (or so we thought) was when they asked what we believed our valuation was. When we did express it, they almost asked us to leave! On the drive back from Bangalore to Chennai, we went over the questions they’d asked and realized they were all very relevant and insightful. We put together our answers, tweaked our plans and ideas accordingly, and sent it all back to Kalaari. They were quick to see how we had reacted and were very receptive of how we had re-visited some of our assumptions. They came back to us with a term sheet that worked out to be a win-win situation for all of us. We did have a commitment from another strategic investor for 2x the valuation, but we declined that in favour of Kalaari since they were more committed to us and more professional than any of the others. And like I said earlier, they understood our vision!