In an era of armchair activism, social media has fast become the tool of choice for youngsters to rail about injustices. This detail was not lost on Rajesh Choudhury, CEO of iPunch, an Android app that aims to improve social consciousness among the youth. Together with Manish Thapa and Vijay D Pamarathi, Choudhury founded iPunch in 2014 to help young people create audio-visual content to protest against social issues. They received ₹40 lakh as initial investment from Taurus Value Creation, Singapore.
The app’s users can engage with others through the platform’s range of animations, which are designed keeping in mind the concept of gamification. iPunch draws its revenue from sponsorship by brands — each time a user activates an animation, a banner ad is displayed for three seconds. The users also receive vouchers from the advertisers for interacting on this platform.
So far, iPunch has partnered with four brands, including Samsung and Costa Coffee. “They pay us a monthly retainer fee of ₹50,000-1 lakh,” says Choudhury. The company plans to switch to the Facebook revenue model of getting paid for engagement once its user base increases from the current 800-900. Going forward, the company plans on extending its reach to Hyderabad and Chennai and tie up with local authorities to track issues such as garbage, roads and transport.