On most reading platforms, readers have to pay full amount for a content. Often readers comes across a work which they don’t enjoy. They end up leaving it in between and the amount paid is not utilized fully. It also make the readers hesitant to explore and invest in more content. But what if we only had to pay for the pages that we read? Mumbai based Qpeka does just that, and a lot more.
About Qpeka and how does it work?
Qpeka is an author discovery platform that enhances the reading experience for readers. Readers earn points by reading the work of new authors. With these points, they can access the premium content. Initially all works are free but after reaching a cutoff level, readers have to pay to read further. Best thing- readers only pay for the number of pages they read. The platform supports 300 languages which includes all Indian languages. For educational content, readers have an option of just paying for the part of the book that they want to read. Budding writers can easily publish their work on Qpeka. The startup provides the writer an opportunity to monetize their content by placing short ads. They can also opt for premium based monetization.
For content based websites and E-magazines looking to use Qpeka platform on their own domains, the startup also provide platform as a service, where they give them a responsive layout for hosting their content, which can be easily converted into an app. Along with this, the startup also gives them monetization options for their content by placing ads within their content.
Qpeka is founded by Abhishek Barari, Kaushal Gandhi, Rahul Shelke and Dhaval Sukhia. Abhishek is the chairman and MD. He is a Charted Accountant and has 4 years experience in KPMG. Kaushal Gandhi is the CEO of Qpeka. He is an MBA from JBIMS and has 2 years experience in ICICI Investment banking. Rahul, CTO, pursued M.tech from VJTI and has a rich knowledge of startups. He handles the technical department of Qpeka. Dhaval, CFO, is a Charted Accountant and has 2 years experience in KPMG. He handles the finance section.
Journey so far, marketing, and patent
[pullquote align=”right”]Qpeka’s patent is for the per page tracking system. 200 words are considered to be a page (Peka unit). [/pullquote] A beta version of Qpeka.com was launched in February 2014. Currently, there are 250 published works by 100+ authors. 500+ works from 200 more authors are all set to be published. The startup targets to publish 3000+ works per month in the coming months.
“We were shortlisted in the top 8 startups at Nasscom Techstock 2013. We were also selected by IBM for their catalyst program. In a short 2 month period, our rankings have rocketed from + 6 million to currently 2.7 lakhs and improving every day.”, says Abhishek.
As for marketing, mouth to mouth publicity by the authors worked pretty well. “We give the established writers the option to monetize their content in entirety. The only difference is that readers have a refund guarantee. So if the reader does not want to continue, he can take a refund for the unread pages. In this case the royalty is proportionately reduced.”, says Abhishek.
Suggestions to fellow entrepreneurs
Upon further quizzing Abhishek on his tips for fellow entreprenueurs, he says –
Getting a good developer team is the biggest challenge. I recommend attending various meetups to various aspiring entrepreneurs and discussing your idea without fear of it getting copied. This will ensure people will have you in their minds, and when things materialize you can talk further. Also, it’s always good to focus on a barebone prototype which is decent and clean than to focus on perfection. Also don’t be scared to let it loose between people. You will be surprised how people’s feedback will itself help you shape the product better and faster.
The startup is self-funded for now but the team plans to raise 20-25 lakhs at the seed stage. As for future, the startup plans to release an API for other websites to access Qpeka.
Qpeka is a great platform for avid readers and budding writers. The idea of ‘pay per page’ distinguishes the startup from other reading platforms. Also, the concept of earning reward points by reading free content will be quite useful for budding writers. However, it remains to be seen that how Qpeka will convince professional writers to publish their work on the website. We wish Qpeka team all the very best!