Mohalla Tech, the parent of native language social media platform ShareChat and short video app Moj, has raised $502 million (Rs 3,732 crore per current exchange rates) in its latest round of funding. The round was led by returning investor Lightspeed Venture Partners and new investor Tiger Global Management at a post-money valuation of $2.1 billion.
US based Snap Inc, the parent of messaging app SnapChat, also joined the round as new investor, marking its first investment in the country, Mohalla Tech said in a statement
Returning investors Twitter and India Quotient participated in the round, the statement said.
The valuation in this round is a 3.4X bump up from the valuation that the company fetched when it last raised capital in September 2020. While Mohalla Tech decline to comment on the valuation in the September round, a person aware of developments in the company said the valuation at the time stood at $650 million.
The latest round admits Mohalla Tech into the unicorn club of companies valued at $1 billion or more, the fifth company this week to earn that distinction. Earlier this week, social commerce app Meesho, Pharmeasy parent API Holdings, credit card rewards platform Cred and investing platform Groww raised funding rounds that valued them north of $1 billion.
Thus far, the Bengaluru based company has raised $766 million across six equity rounds, the statement added. In December 2020, it also secured a $60 million term loan from Twitter Ventures, the venture capital arm of microblogging platform Twitter.
The company will use the capital raised in this round for technology development, enhancing safety features and to grow its user base.
“With ShareChat and Moj, we are well positioned to build the largest AI-powered content ecosystem in India,” said Ankush Sachdeva, CEO of ShareChat. “With this infusion of capital, we would continue to aggressively grow our user base, build a world-class org in India and US and further strengthen our creator community, AI-powered recommendation engine and platform health,” he added
Founded in 2015 by Sachdeva, Mohd Farid Ahsan and Bhanu Pratap Singh, Mohalla Tech launched its short video app Moj soon after the Indian government decided to ban Chinese multinational ByteDance backed app TikTok. Since its July 2020 launch, Moj has seen its user base grow to 120 million, claims the company. Its social media platform ShareChat claims to have 160 million users.
“As internet penetration increases, ShareChat’s leading content creation platform is poised to expand dramatically by bridging into online purchases of goods and services. Additionally, Moj is well-positioned to seize the opportunity presented by the growth of short video in India,” Scott Shleifer, partner at New York headquartered alternative investments firm Tiger Global, said in the statement.