ShareChat said it had raised a newround valued at over $2 billion, joining four other local startups in attaining unicorn status this week. The Indian social network said it had raised $502 million in a new financing round — Series E — led by Tiger Global that valued ShareChat at $2.1 billion, up from about $650 million . Snap and existing investors Twitter and Lightspeed also participated in the round, said ShareChat, which has raised about $765 million. TechCrunch reported that the six-year-old startup began engaging with investors for new funds about ten months ago and explored a whole buy-out deal with Twitter, which didn’t materialize.
ShareChat, which claims to have over 160 million users, offers itsapp in 15 Indian languages and has a large following in small Indian cities and towns, or what venture capitalist Sajith Pai of Blume Ventures refers to as “India 2.” Very few players in the Indian startup ecosystem have a reach to this segment of this population, which thanks to users from even smaller towns and villages — called “India 3” — getting online has expanded in recent years.
, the Bangalore-based startup launched Moj — a short-form video app that it says has already amassed over 80 million monthly active users — to fill the void left after New Delhi banned TikTok, which counted India as its biggest international market before being blocked. Moj competes with many players, including Times Internet’s MX TakaTak, which currently with over 100 million monthly active users. Glance’s Roposo and DailyHunt’s Josh received funding from . TechCrunch reported that the search giant was also in talks to invest in ShareChat late last .
“When we saw a large vacuum emerge on June 29 with many short-video creators were already trained to create that content supply. The was, therefore, going to be on building the most relevant feed for the user. We were the only Indian company that had built a world-class feed recommendation system for short-form content,” wrote Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and chief executive of ShareChat, in a blog post. “We built the app in 30 hours. Scaled it to 120mn MAUs in 9 months.”we knew this opportunity was for us. Millions of short video
ShareChat began its life ongroups and has started experimenting with monetization in recent years. For instance, ShareChat allows commerce platforms to interact with customers via its rooms on its app. It also quietly , as reported first by TechCrunch. “We are at a significant inflection point in our company’s journey penetration further deepens in India, we are well-positioned to expand our ecosystem of products to 1 Billion+ more MAUs cumulatively. We have seen how large the short-video market is in China — with around 80% of the entire Internet population using one of the short-video products(Douyin, Kuaishou, etc.) daily,” wrote Sachdeva. ShareChat is the ninth Indian startup to become a unicorn this . Social commerce Meesho turned a unicorn on Monday, CRED on Tuesday, and e-pharmacy firm PharmEasy and Groww on Thursday.