News Republic, the general news aggregator site with 1,200 content partnerships globally, announced the launch of its India edition in New Delhi on Thursday. “The app was launched in China last month and India is the 11th market where we are starting our mobile news app," said Shafi Saxena, the San Francisco-based chief brand officer of News Republic.

Saxena was in India for the formal launch of the global news syndicator’s free apps—News Republic for general news and Appy Geek for tech news. The two brands, with 12 million active monthly users globally, are available in several markets in the US and Europe.

The apps will be available on smartphones (iPhone, Android and Windows), tablets and even on wearables (both Samsung and Apple watches). Globally, the company has content partnerships with media brands such as BBC, CNN, Reuters, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Huffington Post and Mashable. In India, it has already forged alliances with 29 media brands, including India Today, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Aaj Tak, Swarajya magazine and Sportskeeda.com.

News Republic and Appy Geek publish 50,000 unique articles every day. “We are an aggregator, but we only carry content that we pay for. There are people who do not respect intellectual property, but we believe in a synergistic partnership," Saxena said.

The company does not plan to hire journalists in India as it is a syndicated news app. However, it has appointed a country director, Radhika Shukla, who will be supported by the global team initially.

Founded by a gaming expert of French origin, Gilles Raymond, in 2008, News Republic was rebranded by Saxena when she joined the firm 14 months ago. Today, it has two major offices in San Francisco and Bordeaux. The company raised $12 million in 2008 and will be raising another round soon.

News Republic boasts of customized content for its readers. “First there was print, then came broadcasting, followed by narrowcasting. What we are offering is nanocasting," Saxena said. “When you use our app, you can become your own news editor, customise your own topics so that your experience and news flow is different from mine. That is what nanocasting is," she added.

Saxena does not believe News Republic is in competition with other curators such as Flipboard, NewsHunt or News In Shorts. “While Flipboard is a social magazine, NewsHunt is India-focused. We are very different," she said.

On the launch of yet another international news product in the crowded Indian digital market, Satyan Gajwani, chief executive, Times Internet Ltd, said: “It’s good to see the market for news growing so rapidly. The country’s large and growing English-speaking population is compelling for global brands looking for growth. That being said, the digital advertising market is weaker in India than in other countries, and smaller. Newer brands will find it hard to build meaningful revenue streams in India." Would Times Internet ally with News Republic? Gajwani said he did not know much about the company, but was always open to positive partnerships.

Saxena agreed that monetizing the mobile app would not be easy. “Advertising is the only revenue stream here and monetization is painful right now," she admitted.

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