ShareChat acquires SAIF Partners-backed Circle Internet

ShareChat acquires SAIF Partners-backed Circle Internet
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
24 Aug, 2020

Bengaluru-based Mohalla Tech, which runs vernacular social media platform ShareChat, said that it has acquired Circle Internet, a hyperlocal news and information platform.

The 15-member Circle Internet team will join the five-year-old company and contribute towards building a language-first, community-driven, user generated hyperlocal content ecosystem, a statement said. Circle Internet’s strength in hyperlocal content will be capitalised across more than 25 content genres on ShareChat, it added.

ShareChat did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

The acquisition will help ShareChat penetrate deeper into geographies and set up a hyperlocal content ecosystem to cater to the latent content needs of the next billion internet users, Manohar Charan, vice president of corporate development and strategic finance at ShareChat, said.

“Circle’s hyperlocal expansion playbook complements ShareChat’s wide user base to create a strategic advantage and enhance our operational muscles to boost a community-powered content ecosystem,” he said.

Bengaluru-based Circle Internet provides locally relevant information to vernacular internet users across tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The SAIF Partners and Venture Highway-backed firm was launched in 2018 by IIT alumni Uchit Kumar, Gaurav Agrawal and Shashank Shekhar.

Circle Internet claims that over two million hyperlocal content were created on its platform since inception, contributed by both users and verified creators. It currently has presence in more than 120 districts across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala. The platform has a network of over 1,000 volunteers to contribute towards the hyperlocal content ecosystem.

“Circle was started with a vision to provide trustworthy locally relevant information to Indian language internet users,” co-founder Shekhar, also the CEO of Circle Internet, said. 

Shekhar headed ShareChat’s content operations before setting up Circle Internet. In his new role, he will lead the overall content strategy for ShareChat.

This is the third acquisition by the Ankush Sachdeva, Farid Ahsan and Bhanu Pratap Singh- founded company this year. 

In April, the company bought Kae Capital-backed meme sharing platform Memer to integrate the latter’s product suite into its content offerings.  Earlier this year, it bought social commerce platform Elanic for an undisclosed amount.  

ShareChat claims to have over 130 million monthly active users, and is available across 15 Indian languages. The startup last raised capital in a $100 million growth funding round in August from micro-blogging platform Twitter and others. The deal marked Twitter’s first India based investment.