$1 million funding for a startup founded by young people in Pune

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A startup called Un1Feed, founded by two college dropouts – Hardik Patil, 19, from Pune and Ansh Nanda, 20, from Delhi – has raised $1 million in funding. Un1Feed’s goal is to allow users to override and modify their social feed algorithm so they can choose what they see, hear or consume on social media, “down to the smallest detail”, by creating their personal stream filter.

“The idea behind Un1Feed has evolved since we first had it, but it started when one of our mutual friends spent a lot of time scrolling through feeds on a social media platform. He was frustrated with the time he was wasting and tried deleting the app several times but was only able to do so for a few hours, he would just download the app again and again. This does not happen by chance or coincidentally, it’s on purpose. We’ve seen friends and family suffer from social media addiction and related issues, and it’s ignored simply because it’s not as visibly destructive as an addiction. to other substances. We believe that the control of its consumption should only belong to the user, and Un1Feed became the suite of tools that we decided to create to give this control to the users”, says Patil.

In 2018, an article titled “A Comparative Study on Social Media Usage and Health Status of Students Studying in Pre-University Colleges in Urban Bengaluru,” found that “the prevalence of social media addiction was 36.9% among users, split equally between private and governmental PUs The most frequently identified health problem was eye strain (38.4%), anger (25.5%) and sleep disturbance (26 ,1%). social”.

Un1Feed, which is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, wants to help users take control of their social media activity. “People my age – Gen Z audiences, typically between the ages of 14 and 26 – spend more than 20% of their waking lives on social media, with almost no control over the type of content they consume. In the past year alone, almost half of my generation have attempted to delete their social media account in the US Our understanding is that this behavior is also true for Gen Z users in India. deleting a social media account is not the same as deleting it and keeping it that way,” says Patil.

“Gen Z users are trying to delete their accounts because they recognize the detrimental effects it has on their social and academic life, self-perception, and mental health. Unfortunately, the addictive nature of social apps means that these Gen Z users continue to use social media, usually redownloading or restarting their account soon,” he adds.

Using Un1Feed involves downloading the Un1Feed app, logging into your favorite social apps on the Un1Feed app, and choosing your favorite filters. “You can create a personalized feed by just entering an appropriate keyword, and Un1Feed will curate a feed for you. Or, you can choose some of your favorite news accounts, and Un1Feed will find similar accounts and show you a curated feed says Patil.

With current funding, the company plans to accelerate product development by hiring engineers. “I was fortunate enough to attend Stanford, which is well known for its entrepreneurial spirit and the high quality of startups it produces. By dropping out of college, I don’t think I gave up on education. – I just think I’ve given up on “formal” education. There’s a lot to learn every day when working in a startup, and it happens at an exponentially faster rate than going to college and unfolds in a practical and actionable way,” says Patil.

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