New Delhi: Way2SMS, the start-up that pioneered web-based SMS before the days of WhatsApp, has reinvented itself as a local languages news app and will leverage its strong tier-II and tier-III user base for email and targeted marketing for growth.

Its SMS-through-website service was a hit back in the day when people flocked to it to send free text messages. As the SMS business slumped after 2014—with falling mobile tariffs and the advent of internet-based chat apps—the company was left with a highly profiled user data-base but nothing to sell.

Way2SMS amassed 50 million users with about 600,000 visitors every day, founder and chief executive Raju Vanapala said. “The phenomenon was very clear—macro activity of SMS was going down,” he said.

In 2015, the Hyderabad-based start-up pivoted to a multilingual news app Way2Online. Like the earlier Way2SMS, Way2Online relies on a display ads model for revenue. It aggregates and delivers news content in

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