An Indian social media company is on the verge of becoming a very relevant player in this segment. According to a new report, Mohalla Tech, the parent company of Indian social media company ShareChat, has raised nearly $300 million in a new funding round. The info comes from sources that are familiar with the matter. Investors in the financing round, which includes Alphabet’s Google Inc, media giant Time Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, value the social media company at nearly $5 billion.
The two sources believe that the new deal can be announced as early as the next week. Mohalla Tech, Google, and Temasek, unfortunately, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Time Group. Worth noting, that this represents Google’s second key investment in India’s short-form video space. It follows an investment in Josh, a competitor to ShareChat’s sister company Moj. Google’s investment in this market shows the company’s interest in the short-form video industry.
Worth noting that Tech startups in India, which raised a record $35 billion in new funding in 2021, have been struggling for a while now. The reason is the uncertainty in global markets, it fuels growing investor concerns about corporate governance. As a result, startups are experiencing a hard time raising funds.
Short-video apps have become popular in India after TikTok’s ban
Interestingly, there has been a surge in short-video apps like Moj and Josh. However, it’s pretty easy to understand the reason. TikTok has easily become a world phenomenon, one that even threatens Facebook. However, the Indian government banned TikTok and other Chinese apps way back in 2020. As a result, Indians were left without the popular short-video social media. Local companies decided to explore the segment that was already proving to be a success in the country.
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ShareChat now has around 180 million monthly active users, while Moj and Mohalla’s recent acquisition of MX TakaTak has a combined user base of 300 million. In the last funding round, ShareChat raised $266 million from investors. At the time, this made the company raise its value to $3.7 billion. In addition, the company’s investors include Twitter and Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, the “flash after reading” communication app.
Interestingly, if Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter gets approval, then the executive will own 6 percent to 8 percent of Sharechat. We are curious to see how the situation will evolve. Interestingly, Koo, another social media wants to steal Twitter’s userbase in India.