Indian Social Media Platform ShareChat Cashes in on US$40M Pre-Series E

With the funding, ShareChat is looking to give a boost to its TikTok alternative Moj

Indian social media company ShareChat has raised US$40 million in a pre-Series E round of financing, the company announced in a statement late last week.

Investors in the pre-Series E include SAIF Partners, Twitter, Lightspeed Ventures and India Quotient, joined by the family offices of Pawan Munjal, CEO and Chairman of motorcycle and scooter manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, and Ajay Shridhar Shriram, Chairman of Indian conglomerate DCM Shriram, the statement noted.

Twitter was the lead investor in ShareChat’s $100 million Series D funding round, which also saw participation from SAIF Partners, Lightspeed Ventures and India Quotient. All three investors have been early backers of the company, the statement noted.

With the fresh funding, company’s total capital haul now stands at $264 million, the statement added.

The funding will enable the company to bolster growth plans for ShareChat’s short video platform Moj, and will be focused on beefing up product development, expanding its creator ecosystem and securing partnerships with music labels, the statement noted.

“ShareChat is on a rapid growth path and is spearheading the growth of the Indic language Indian social media landscape. Our short-video platform Moj has been on an explosive growth trajectory since its launch,” CEO and Cofounder of ShareChat Ankush Sachdeva said in the statement.

“This funding will help us further invest into our product development, [machine learning] capabilities and helping the creator community,” Sachdeva further said.

Plunging headfirst into market opportunities left behind by TikTok

ShareChat recently acquired video production company HPF Films for an undisclosed amount in order to build its capabilities on Moj towards its content operations, creator community and brand advertising solutions.

When the company announced the acquisition of HPF Films, ShareChat and Moj had a combined monthly active user (MAU) base of 130 million.

In its current announcement, the company noted that the two have a combined MAU of 240 million, with ShareChat crossing 160 MAUs in the past month. This indicates an addition of 110 million MAUs in the span of less than two weeks.

The company noted in the statement that users spend a daily average of 31 minutes on ShareChat and 34 minutes on Moj.

“The company’s India-first brand and capabilities in local languages, product innovation, AI, growth and retention are deep moats. The hyper-growth in 2020 for its two applications–ShareChat and Moj–underscores its emergence as a quintessential Indian success story,” Partner at Lightspeed India Dev Khare said in the statement.

The ShareChat platform was launched in 2015 with the founding of its holding company Mohalla Tech by Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh, and Farid Ahsan. The platform is a vernacular-language social media platform that focuses on regional language content.

ShareChat launched Moj this year as a TikTok alternative, after TikTok found itself amongst a score of Chinese apps banned by the Indian government in the shadow of border tensions between the subcontinent and China.

Moj allows users to share 15-second videos on its platforms, along with the addition of emoticons and filters.

The app made its way to Google Play Story on June 29, the same day as 59 Chinese apps including TikTok were given the boot.

“India could never have dreamt of having a homegrown social media platform, had ShareChat not embarked on the impossible in 2015,” Partner, India Quotient, Madhukar Sinha said in the statement.

“To our amazement, the first version of ShareChat app was created in just a few days of beanbags and Red Bull in our office (sic). And five years later they have done the same with Moj. As a new era unfolds with Moj, we are yet again solidly behind this team to support them,” Sinha added.

Header image by Cristian Dina from Pexels

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