Temasek, Moore Strategic Ventures bet on ShareChat

Temasek, Moore Strategic Ventures bet on ShareChat
Photo Credit: Pixabay
27 Jul, 2021

Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates Indian language social media platform ShareChat and short video platform Moj, on Tuesday said it has raised an additional $145 million (Rs 1076 crore) as part of its Series F funding round led by Temasek and Moore Strategic Ventures. 

The fresh funding will give Mohalla Tech firepower to battle it out in the growing Indian content-sharing and short-video app market that got a shot in the arm after the government last year banned the popular TikTok and other Chinese apps. 

Mirae-Naver Asia Growth fund participated in the funding round, said ShareChat in a statement. 

The latest funding was raised at a valuation of $2.88 billion.  

It comes just around four months after ShareChat achieved unicorn status, that is, a valuation of at least $1 billion. Then it had raised $502 million from Tiger Global, Snap Inc and some existing investors such as Twitter Inc at a valuation of just over $2.1 billion. 

ShareChat, which was founded in 2015 by Farid Ahsan, Ankush Sachdeva and Bhanu Pratap Singh, has raised $911 million so far. In the initial years, the startup was incurring significant marketing expenses to acquire market share and engage more users. It clocked maiden revenues from operations at Rs 9.38 crore for the financial year 2019-2020. Total income in 2019-20 grew to Rs 38.12 crore as compared to Rs 25.63 crore in the previous year. The company widened its losses by 21.7% to Rs 676 crore during the period. 

The firm has been focused on growing Moj as a platform after the ban on ByteDance backed popular short video app TikTok in India in June last year.  

Moj has a user community of 160 million and a creator community of over 50 million. ShareChat has a user community of 180 million and a creator community of over 32 million. 

In the short video space, Mohalla Tech faces stiff competition from VerSe Innovation, the parent company of short video app Josh and Dailyhunt, and InMobi subsidiary Glance. 

In December last year, Glance raised $145 million (about Rs 1,070 crore) from Google and Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel’s investment firm Mithril Capital. 

ShareChat has also been active in making acquisitions. It acquired meme-sharing platform Memer; hyperlocal startup Circle Internet; video production firm HPF Films; and social commerce platform Elanic.