Google leads a $300 million funding in India’s ShareChat; pushing its valuation from $3.7B to $5B in just 6 months
ShareChat, the Bengaluru-based Indian regional language social content-sharing platform, has raised nearly $300 million in fresh funding from Alphabet Inc’s Google, media giant Times Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, Reuters reported, citing two sources involved in the deal discussions.
The announcement comes just six months after ShareChat raised $266 million in fresh funding led by Alkeon and saw participation from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Moore Strategic Ventures, and others. The latest funding pushes ShareChat’s valuation from $3.7 billion in December 2021 to $5 billion.
As we also reported back in February, flushed with cash, ShareChat‘s parent company also acquired local rival MX’s short-video platform TakTak in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $700 million.
Per Reuters, ShareChat’s parent company, Mohalla Tech, did not respond to a request for comment. Google and Temasek did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while Reuters could not immediately reach the Times Group.
Meanwhile, this is Google’s second key investment in India’s short video space, having previously backed Josh, which competes with ShareChat’s sister firm Moj.
Content-sharing and short-video apps have grown in popularity in India after the Indian government banned ByteDance’s TikTok and some other Chinese apps following an India-China border clash in 2020.
We covered ShareChat back in September 2020 after the 6-year-old startup raised $40 million from Twitter, Lightspeed, and others to accelerate the growth of the Moj app which reached 80 million monthly users at the time.
Founded in 2015 by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh, Bhanu Singh, Farid Ahsan, Sharechat is a regional language-focussed social media platform that heavily relies on user-generated content. It has features like anonymous chat, direct messaging, and original video content under the banner of ShareChat Talkies.
ShareChat launched a competitor to TikTok called Moj on July 2, 2020. In just two months, the app had over 50K downloads following the TikTok ban in India. Today, ShareChat now has 180 million active users. Moj has 160 million users and counts Meta Platforms Instagram Reels as its key rival.
Moj is currently available in 15 languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, Haryanvi, Rajasthani, and Urdu among others. ShareChat said in its statement that users of its Moj app spent an average of 34 minutes every day consuming video content.
The latest investment is also a sign of investors’ confidence in India’s tech startups, which raised a record $35 billion in new funds in 2021.
ShareChat currently has 180 million monthly active users. Moj, along with Mohalla’s recently acquired MX TakaTak, has a combined user base of 300 million, according to one of the sources.