- Google is in talks with ShareChat to invest in the social media business headquartered in Bengaluru, two people who are familiar with the matter told ET.
Google is in talks with ShareChat to invest in the social media business headquartered in Bengaluru, two people who are familiar with the matter told ET.
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.
Ankush Sachdeva, chief executive of ShareChat said the company is seeing a lot of inbound interest and talking to everyone, including all the global players.
“Seeing how things have changed, particularly since the ban, ShareChat gains a lot in terms of time spent, sales, daily active users. Suddenly, we ‘re much more valuable than our previously thought valuation. We’ve got a lot of inbound interest and we’re talking to everyone, including all the global players,” Sachdeva told ET.
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.
ShareChat recently launched Moj, a video-sharing application. Moj has recorded more than 10 million downloads in one week. Moj lets users create short videos with special effects, stickers, and emoticons, unlike the popular TikTok app.