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    ShareChat Raises $502 Million From Snap, Twitter, Others; Valuation Tops $2 Billion


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     ShareChat content-sharing platform said it has raised $502 million (roughly Rs. 3,720 crores) in fresh funding from Tiger Global, Snap, and some existing investors such as Twitter, valuing it at more than $2 billion (roughly Rs. 14,840 crores).

    The funding was led by US venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners and American investment firm Tiger, ShareChat said in a statement on Thursday.

    Tiger Global and Snap, owner of popular photo-messaging app Snapchat, are new investors in the Indian platform.

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    The funding signals growing investor interest in Indian social media apps that are looking to tap into pent-up demand after New Delhi banned dozens of Chinese apps, including ByteDance’s TikTok, following an India-China border clash last year.

    Moj and other similar alternatives of the popular video app TikTok have been finding favour with users in India, where smartphone use has been rapidly surging.

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    ShareChat is now valued at little more than $2.1 billion (roughly Rs. 15,590 crores), it said, adding that new funds will be used to double down on technology initiatives and support user growth.

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    “With this infusion of capital we would continue to aggressively grow our user base,” ShareChat CEO Ankush Sachdeva said.

    The ShareChat app has 160 million users in India and Moj has 120 million. Moj and other similar TikTok alternatives have been finding favour with users in India, where smartphone use has been rapidly surging.

    ShareChat has plans to raise more funds from investors in the coming months, a source familiar with its plans said.

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    The company declined to comment on future funding plans.

    ShareChat’s valuation makes it India’s latest “unicorn”, which describes tech startups valued at more than $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,420 crores).

    Including the latest funding, ShareChat has now raised $766 million (roughly Rs. 5,690 crores) over six funding rounds.

    © Thomson Reuters 2021

    What is the best phone under Rs. 15,000 in India right now? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 27:54), we speak to OK Computer creators Neil Pagedar and Pooja Shetty. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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