Surfers’ De­light

Sharat Potharaju 32 and Ravi Pratap 31 CO-FOUNDERS Mob­stac, Ban­ga­lore

India Today - - THE IDEAS FACTORY - By Aye­sha Aleem

Al­ways had prob­lems of web­sites turn­ing up dis­torted on your mo­bile phone? Mob­stac, a soft­ware de­vel­oped by two Hy­der­abad en­trepreneurs, Sharat Potharaju and Ravi Pratap, has the an­swer. Once the owner of a web­site sub­scribes to the ser­vice, users can ac­cess a dis­play cus­tomised to their phone. Child­hood friends and chem­i­cal engineers from

IIT- Madras, they re­alised that In­ter­net con­sump­tion had shifted from PCS and lap­tops to mo­bile phones in a big way since the ar­rival of the iphone and new-age an­droid phones. They gave up their jobs—sharat was work­ing at Mer­rill Lynch in New York, Ravi with Mor­gan Stan­ley in New York and then Hill­crest Labs in Washington, D.C.— and re­turned to In­dia in 2009 to work on a mo­bile pub­lish­ing plat­form. They chose Ban­ga­lore as their base. Potharaju and Pratap pooled their own funds and raised around $75,000 (Rs 37,50,000) from some

IIT- Madras alumni and launched Mob­stac in 2009. Apart from the Mob­stac app, they have also de­vel­oped ‘Touch­site’, which pro­vides an in­ter­ac­tive touch to a stan­dard web­site. The two apps are avail­able for a monthly sub­scrip­tion fee of Rs 250 to Rs 1 lakh de­pend­ing on the range and scale of use. They have found tak­ers rang­ing from in­de­pen­dent blog­gers to main­stream mag­a­zines and newspa- pers in­ter­ested in dig­i­tal pub­lish­ing. Some of their clients are The Hindu, In­to­mo­, a San Fran­cisco-based dig­i­tal pub­lisher, as well as Md­, an In­dia-based health­care por­tal. They have “just started gen­er­at­ing rev­enue”, but aim to cross Rs 5 crore in 201213. “We are cre­at­ing the com­pany that we want to work in. And we’re just get­ting started,” says Pratap.

I have been us­ing Mob­stac on my web­site for some time now. Sharat and Ravi have done a phe­nom­e­nal job. We’ve seen sig­nif­i­cant traf­fic on the mo­bile web­site, so much so that it’s be­come an en­tity on its own.”

Ashish sinha, Founder and

CEO of, a pop­u­lar en­trepreneur­ship and tech­nol­ogy blog

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