ShareChat, a Google-backed short video-sharing startup, lays off 20% of its workforce
ShareChat is the latest Indian tech startup to lay off staff amid the global economic downturn. ShareChat, which was backed by Google and Singapore-based Temasek, announced Monday it has let go of about 20% of its 2,000-person workforce, as tech startups around the world implemented cut-cutting measures to weather the ongoing economic storm.
In an internal memo to employees, ShareChat CEO Ankush Sachdeva said, “There is a growing market consensus that the current global economic downturn would be a much more sustained one, and we thus have to, unfortunately, seek more cost savings by reducing our team size.”
ShareChat also confirmed that affected employees would get two weeks’ pay for every year served. In addition, the company said that laid-off employees with stock ownership plans will continue to vest them as per schedule until April 30.
The Bengaluru-based ShareChat currently has more than 2,200 employees, with global operations spreading across India, the United States, and Europe, according to its website.
The sudden announcement comes about eight months after the 8-year-old startup raised $300 million in funding at a valuation of $5 billion. The round was led by Alphabet Inc’s Google, media giant Times Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.
“As capital becomes expensive, companies need to prioritize their bets and invest in the highest-impact projects only,” a ShareChat spokesperson told Reuters. “We aim to sail through the uncertain global economic conditions over 2023 and 2024.”
Founded in 2015 by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh, Bhanu Singh, and Farid Ahsan, Sharechat is a regional language-focused 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.
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.