When ShareChat was founded four years ago, many were cautiously optimistic that there is a place for multi-language social media network for linguistically diverse country like India. Today this guarded optimism got its strongest validation after social media giant Twitter along with TrustBridge Partners pumped $100 Mn in ShareChat. Existing investors like Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient and Morningside Venture Capital also participated in the fundraising round.
The precise financial details of the deal is still not known but people privy to the matter claim that Twitter and TrustBridge have probably infused $70-$80 Mn in the round. Sources further claimed that the latest round has valued the Bengaluru based company at nearly $600-$650 million, an increase from $460 Mn during its last fundraising round in September last year.
When ShareChat was launched in January 2015, Indian tech startups were already riding high on the increasing smartphone and internet penetration across India. This penetration is still continuing to give a major shot in the arm for startups like ShareChat, which has managed to increased its user base at a phenomenal rate.
Today the Bengaluru headquartered company currently boasts 50 Mn monthly active users across India’s hinterland. The startup expects to ramp up 120-150 Mn monthly active users over the period of next 12-months.
ShareChat mobile app enables its users do pretty much everything that big social networking site like Facebook allows – from creating, discovering and sharing content to features like anonymous chat. Today for non-English speaking residents living across tier 2 & tier 3 cities, a multi-linguistic social media app like ShareChat means world to them.
How ShareChat and Twitter will benefit from this deal
ShareChat may seek strategic partnership with Twitter to cope with the onslaught of Chinese apps like TikTok and Helo. Over the last one year, TikTok especially has been on a rampage to garner nearly $120 Mn monthly active users, far higher than ShareChat’s current 50 Mn users. If TikTok’s domination continues unabated in coming years then it will be certainly at the price of India’s home grown apps.
For Twitter, a stake in ShareChat will open window of opportunity to gain foothold among millions of users spread across India’s smaller towns. Despite India’s internet growth story, San Francisco based social media giant’s monthly active users in India currently stands at lowly 30-33 Mn, which is awfully low especially when compared with Facebook’s 270 Mn users in India.