Twitter-backed Social Media Platform ShareChat Acquires HPF Films to Bolster Content Capabilities

A 25-member team from HPF Films will be joining ShareChat as part of the deal

India-based social media platform ShareChat has acquired video production company HPF Films for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement by the company yesterday.

The acquisition will enable ShareChat and its affiliate short video content brand Moj to build their content operations, strengthen their creator community base and enhance their advertising solutions offerings for brands, the statement noted.

As part of the deal, a 25-member team from HPF Films has joined ShareChat to support content, digital marketing, creative solutions and creator management operations for both ShareChat and Moj.

“As ShareChat continues on the aggressive growth journey, it is important for us to invest and build capabilities required to sustain growth on a large base,” ShareChat VP of Corporate Development and Strategic Finance Manohar Charan noted in the statement.

“This acquisition will help us build a framework for our creators and nurture them to evolve as influencers on the platform. Moreover, HPF’s strength on creative side will also help us in creating innovative, high performing advertising solutions for the brands looking at engaging with our audiences,” Charan added.

HPF Films was founded in 2018 and focuses on video production for digital content. The company’s client base includes Indian companies such as Y Combinator-backed Meesho, cab-hailing service Ola, travel ecommerce platform ixigo and digital ledger OkCredit.

HPF Films produces content across 12 Indian languages, and owns over 100 channels on digital platforms, the statement noted. Some of HPF Films’ popular titles include Zindagi Express, Ishq Mohalla, The Dating Scientist, What The Goat, and Stones & Wounds.

The company has so far produced over 3500 titles in formats such as web series, digital ads, short films, and documentaries, the statement said. It added that the company was initially bootstrapped and has been profitable since its inception.

“We started HPF Films to address the growing demand for digital video content. Today, snackable video has emerged as the preferred content format on smartphones, and we have proven capabilities to contribute in the ecosystem,” HPF Films COO and Co-founder Navin Lalwani said in the statement.

“Given our expertise, we will assist the creators on ShareChat and Moj for better content creation through workshops, training etc. and strengthen the content operations and ad solutions. We are thankful to ShareChat for entrusting us with the responsibilities and we believe HPF’s inclusion into ShareChat will expedite the growth curve,” Lalwani added.

ShareChat was founded in 2015 and currently has over 130 million monthly active users, in addition to 50 million monthly active users on Moj.

The company has raised over $200 million in funding so far, and had last raised US$100 million in a Series D round of funding last year led by Twitter.

Some of its other prominent investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Partners, Shunwei Capital and Xiaomi.

The acquisition marks the fourth such deal for ShareChat this year. Earlier in April, the social media company had acquired hyperlocal news and information platform Circle Internet, as well as meme-sharing platform Memer.

Prior to that, ShareChat had also acquired fashion peer-to-peer ecommerce company Elanic in February this year.

ShareChat has been posited as a potential TikTok replacement in India, after the Indian government banned the Bytedance-owned app due to border tensions and growing data security concerns. In this context, ShareChat’s acquisition of HPF Films may be seen as a competitive move to strengthen its short video content capabilities, particularly on Moj.

The company has reportedly been in talks with Google as well as Microsoft, which had earlier made a bid for TikTok’s U.S. operations, in addition to its existing backers SAIF Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Twitter for a fresh fundraise.

Some other Indian social media apps also striking gold amid the TikTok ban are Chingari, Mitron and Trell, all three of which raised fresh funding in August this year, a month after the ban was announced.

Header image by Freepik

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