Twitter had talked to acquire ShareChat in order to expand India presence. The American firm is an investor in ShareChat, and offered $1.1 bn in and an additional investment of $900mn for the buyout. Twitter had deliberated to take Moj, a short-form video app with 80mn users, owned by ShareChat, to present it as a global rival to TikTok. ShareChat has raised $260 mn from Lightspeed Partners India, Elevation Capital, India Quotient etc.
Indian social media platform ShareChat announced ShareChat Labs, a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in California’s Palo Alto, its first establishment outside India. The new centre is dedicated to technology backbone for company. With new CoE, ShareChat can ripe new-age solutions powered by ML to enhance use experience through advanced camera capabilities, deeper visual understanding and stronger content recommendations.
Google is deferring the enforcement of its new Play Store billing policy in India (only) to April 22, earlier going live on Sept 21. This news comes at a time when Indian startups including Paytm, Razorpay, Dream11, ShareChat raised concerns over the 30% Play Store commission on payments. More than 50 Indian executives held a meeting with MeitY on Saturday. Google said it is setting up listening sessions with Indian startups to understand their concerns deeply.
ShareChat said it raised $40M in Pre-Series E round. The Bengaluru-based company said the new funding round had significant investment from Dr. Pawan Munjal, DCM Shriram Promoters Family Office, SAIF Partners, Twitter, Lightspeed Ventures and India Quotient. This investment will be used to drive growth of ShareChat’s short video platform – Moj. The company will use it in product development, enhancing ML capabilities and helping creator community.
ShareChat announced an additional $14M ESOP pool to reward its employees for their hard work and dedication towards the company. With this addition, its total ESOP pool stands at $35M. The company also announced additional 50% ESOPs as bonus for the existing employees, who were on the firm’s payroll on June 30, 2020. Also, ESOPs have been extended to every employee on payroll including administrative staff who were not holding any ESOPs earlier.
ShareChat has acquired video production company Hera Pheri Films (HPF) for an undisclosed amount. HPF Films currently produces content, including web series, digital ads, short films etc. The company’s 25-member team has now joined ShareChat and will look after its content ops, digital marketing and more. This is ShareChat’s second acquisition in two months. It currently values at $650M and is in talks with investors like Microsoft to raise funds.
Google is in early talks to invest in ShareChat which is looking to raise $150-200M; preparing to secure a top spot in the gaps left behind by the banned Chinese apps. ShareChat was an active competitor for ByteDance’s Helo before it was banned by the Indian govt. Apart from Google, Microsoft has also held investment talks with ShareChat. While Google did not respond to queries, ShareChat said that it cannot comment on any “market speculation”.
Microsoft Corp is, reportedly, planning to invest about $100M in ShareChat. The Indian content sharing platform, if this deal is signed, will raise one-third of the investments it is looking to raise. However, the company is interested in raising funds from existing investors before closing a deal with new ones, as per the sources. Also, being in its early talk days, this deal may take months to be signed. Microsoft is also looking to acquire ByteDance’s TikTok.
Indian apps are doubling up cloud infrastructure to offer uninterrupted user experience due to the massive increase of users, creators and content on their platform after the ban on Chinese apps. These apps, started with a little cloud infrastructure, have now amassed a massive user base in a matter of weeks. Most of them are using AWS and Google Cloud. ShareChat, recently, shifted from a multi-cloud presence across AWS and Google Cloud.