Mobile Internet

Sharechat Raises $100 Million in Series-D Funding

ShareChat, a regional social media platform, on Friday announced that it had raised a new round of funding of $100 million in its Series-D funding, where Twitter and TrustBridge Partners are two new investors.
The company, so far claims to have raised $224 million. Existing investors participating in this round include Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient and Morningside Venture Capital. Chinese tech giant Xiaomi is also an investor in the company.
Sources suggest that after the latest capital infusion in ShareChat, The company’s current valuation is $600-$650 million.
ShareChat is India’s largest regional social network allowing users to share their opinions, record their lives and make new friends, all within the comfort of their native language.
“This is a very exciting time for us at ShareChat as we see our platform growing rapidly. With this new round of funding, we are positioned to take the next leap in our growth story. As we scale up, our focus remains to help the ShareChat community better express themselves in the comfort of their native language,” Ankush Sachdeva, CEO, ShareChat said.
IIT graduates Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh, and Ankush Sachdeva, all in their 20s, always wanted to be a part of the start-up ecosystem, and after 14 failed attempts in several sectors, including building a real estate portal, a crowdsourcing platform, and a civic data platform, the trio came up with ShareChat in 2015. It has more than 15 Mn daily active users and over 50 Mn monthly active users across 15 different languages.
For Twitter, which is looking to go deeper into India’s smaller towns at a time when its user growth has plateaued, Share-Chat will give it a ready platform to expand. The San Francisco-based tech giant, with a market capitalisation of $31.42 billion, saw its CEO Jack Dorsey personally involved in the transaction,
ShareChat claims itself to be the country’s first vernacular language social platform targeting Tier-II and Tier-III cities with about 92 percent of the users coming from such regions. According to a KPMG report, the local language internet users will account for over three-fourth of India’s internet user base.
Indian languages such as Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Odia, Bhojpuri, Assamese, Rajasthani and Haryanavi are available on ShareChat’s multi-linguistic keyboard with the founders looking to add a few more such as Tulu and Konkani by the end of the year.
The company is currently facing tough competition from Chinese social media company ByteDance’s apps, TikTok and Helo. Currently, 39% of TikTok’s 500 Mn global users are from India, mostly between the ages of 16 to 24 years. Another Chinese app, Like, which was the third-most downloaded app in India in 2018, counts 64% of its users as Indian.
This investment will help ShareChat grow and provide the company’s management team access to Twitter’s resources. Spearheading India’s internet revolution, ShareChat is changing how the next billion users will interact on the internet, thus complementing to government’s mission of digital literacy and last-mile connectivity.

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