ShareChat Raises $502 Million as Social Media App Dominates Indian Market

By Thomas Price Thursday, April 8, 2021

Following the controversial ban of short-form video app TikTok in India, social media companies and developers have been scrambling to fill the void left in its wake. While social media app companies like Instagram and Snapchat have created their own version of TikTok, the potential business to be gained is still massive. ShareChat is a social media app company that leaped on the opportunity, creating a short-form video platform marketed directly toward Indian users. The startup recently raised incredible Series E funding from several major sources.

A young Indian woman using a smartphone.

The ShareChat App and Ongoing Success

Founded six years ago in India, ShareChat is a social media startup that recently created its own version of TikTok to accompany the already burgeoning social networking capabilities. The app created by the startup has several standby social media features, which include private messaging, user tags, photo-sharing capabilities, memes, videos, and other types of content. The company has already seen incredible success, amassing a whopping 160 million monthly active users.

One of the major hallmarks of ShareChat is how attuned it is to the user base it serves. The company offers its app in 15 different Indian languages. A large reason for the 160 million users is the accessibility to users that the business provides. This in turn has garnered strong popularity for the startup in smaller Indian cities and towns alongside larger metropolitan areas.

More recently, following the ban of TikTok, the company saw a massive business opportunity. The startup developed Moj, a short-form video-sharing app that would serve as a replacement for TikTok in the Indian community. While only nine months into its lifespan, Moj has already exploded in popularity, much like its parent company app. In fact, the new app developed by the business has already garnered 80 million monthly active users.

ShareChat Funding and Future Plans

In the Series E funding round for the startup, ShareChat raised an incredible $502 million. The latest funding round was a major moment for the business, which is now valued at $2.1 billion. This amount of capital makes the company a verified unicorn in the startup world. The funding round was led by Tiger Global with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners and social media app companies Twitter and Snap.

ShareChat plans to use the money to expand business operations further as the startup continues to develop new apps and increase monetization capabilities. Commerce platforms have been able to interact with users on ShareChat, with more marketplace features soon to be added. Outside of Moj, the company also launched a sports app called Jeet.

In a blog post commenting on the recent funding, co-founder of the company Ankush Sachdeva said, “We are at a significant inflection point in our company’s journey — as the internet penetration further deepens in India we are well-positioned to expand our ecosystem of products to 1 Billion+ 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.”

About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on entertainment and sports features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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