Google is in talks with ShareChat for the buyout in the social media business headquartered in Bengaluru, two people who are familiar with the matter told ET.
The main reasons listed for the buyout can be-
- Sharechat userbase in India grew by 100 million after the ban of TikTok as it launched short video platform Moz.
- The competition given to ByteDance by Sharechat is the main reason Google is interested in a buyout.
ShareChat is looking to raise $150-200 million and is engaged in talks with investors and technology firms as it is preparing to battle over a dozen rivals to fill the void left by blocked Chinese apps, including TikTok and Helo. JPMorgan advises the organization on fundraising.
ShareChat owns a regional language social media platform that has competed with the recently banned Helo by ByteDance and a new Moj short-video app, released soon after TikTok‘s market exit.
“We have reached out to funds as well as strategic investors like Google. The negotiations are only at a preliminary stage and it will take some time to finish,” one of the people said. “We expect bigger user traction for ShareChat, which directly competes with ByteDance’s Helo, as Chinese software applications are barred.”
Google is not the only firm that has had talks with ShareChat, which counts Twitter as one of its partners in the microblogging site. Business newspaper Mint announced that Microsoft had also had talks with Sharechat. It is also in discussions with existing investors, as reported by ET, including SAIF Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
In July, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed a $10 billion India Digitisation Program, much of which will be invested over the next five to seven years in Indian businesses.
Over a dozen short-video applications, including Roposo, Dailyhunt’s Josh, and MX Player’s TakaTak, the battle for the top spot after the ban on TikTok. MX Player is the property of Times Internet, the Times Group’s digital arm which includes The Economic Times.