ShareChat, an Indian social media network that focuses completely on serving users in non-English languages, said on Thursday it has raised $40 million from a clutch of investors after the Indian startup added tens of millions of brand-new users in current months.
The five-year-old Bangalore-based start-up stated Dr. Pawan Munjal, president and chairman of giant two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp, Ajay Shridhar Shriram, chairman of chemical producing company DCM Shriram, and existing investors Twitter, SAIF Partners, Lightspeed Ventures and India Quotient funded the new round of capital.
Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and president of ShareChat, told TechCrunch in an interview that the startup’s new fundraise is part of its pre-Series E funding round. TechCrunch comprehends the start-up is engaging with numerous significant VC funds and business giants to raise more than $100 million in the next few months. ShareChat has raised about $264 million to date.
The new capital will help ShareChat much better support developers on its platform, Sachdeva stated. ShareChat launched the short-video app Moj in early July, days after New Delhi banned TikTok, which at the time had about 200 million users in India.
In the weeks following TikTok’s ban in India, scores of startups have actually launched short-video apps in the country. DailyHunt has launched Josh, and Times Web’s MX Gamer has introduced TakaTak. Moj has actually plainly developed dominance 1 among short-form video apps.
ShareChat stated Moj has generated more than 80 million monthly active users, who are spending about 34 minutes on the platform every day.
ShareChat’s marquee and eponymous app, which deals with users in 15 Indian languages, itself has actually grown “exponentially.” The app has actually amassed 160 million monthly active users 2, up from 60 million during the same duration last year. A user on an average invests about 31 minutes on the app each day, the start-up stated.
“ShareChat has grown extremely this calendar year,” said Sachdeva. The growth of ShareChat in the social networks category is a rare success story for the Indian start-up community.
“India might never ever have actually imagined having a homegrown social networks platform, had ShareChat not started the difficult in 2015. ShareChat’s success has offered tremendous want to India’s start-up fraternity, and inspired entrepreneurs to take audacious bets in India’s internet community,” stated Madhukar Sinha, partner at India Quotient, one of the earliest backers of ShareChat.
In yet another relocation that is not really typical amongst Indian startups, ShareChat announced previously this week that it was including $14 million to its staff member stock ownership plan (ESOP), taking the overall to $35 million.
Sachdeva said that for a startup of ShareChat’s scale, it is important that its workers feel valued, because there are enough other giants in the market looking for similar talent. “Our most significant rivals are international peers from the U.S. and Beijing,” he stated.
The brand-new capital will likewise assist the startup even more buy its AI prowess and build brand-new products and establish deeper collaborations with music labels, Sachdeva said. TechCrunch reported previously this year that ShareChat had quietly released a fantasy sports app called Jeet11.
Sachdeva said Jeet11 is acquiring excellent traction and the startup’s venture into fantasy sports and short-video app categories shows how fast it moves.
ShareChat has actually also been dealing with marketers as it solidifies its money making opportunities, he said. “The brands are enjoying the fact that they can engage really highly with users,” he said.
The start-up is likewise thinking of expanding outside of India, though such strategies are in an early phase, he said. A portion of ShareChat’s users today currently live outside of India. The app has drawn in many users of Indian diaspora, he stated.
“To our wonder, the first variation of Sharechat app was developed in just a few days of beanbags and Red Bull in our office. And five years later on they have actually done the exact same with Moj. As a brand-new age unfolds with Moj, we are yet again sturdily behind this team to support them. We believe Moj is designed for larger success and will be successful throughout India, and beyond India in the years to come,” said India Ratio’s Sinha.
1 Instagram reaches about 150 million month-to-month active users in India, but it’s unclear if more than half of the app’s userbase has embraced Reels yet.
2 Numerous players in the market count on mobile insight firm AppAnnie and Sensor Tower to track the efficiency of their apps, their portfolio startups’ apps, and those of their rivals. We typically point out AppAnnie and Sensing unit Tower data, too.
According to AppAnnie, ShareChat had less than 20 million regular monthly active users in India last month. Startup founders and other tech executives with whom TechCrunch has actually spoken say that AppAnnie’s information is usually very reputable, and I can tell you that most of the figures business claim publicly match what you see on AppAnnie’s dashboard.
But another thing I have actually heard from lots of start-up founders is that AppAnnie’s data typically misses the mark for apps that have a significant portion of their user base in smaller sized towns and cities– as is the case with ShareChat.
I asked Sachdeva about it, and he said that ShareChat and lots of other apps that are popular in smaller sized Indian cities have actually not integrated AppAnnie’s SDK into their apps. AppAnnie relies on developers integrating its SDK into their apps to be able to evaluate the performance of that app and others set up on the handset.
This would describe why AppAnnie approximates that WhatsApp, which claims to have over 400 million users in India and is also popular among users in smaller sized Indian cities and towns and villages, has about 330 million users.
The contrast in between the numbers ShareChat has officially shared and what one of the most trusted and extensively utilized third-party companies deals was too considerable, and I thought I must mention this. (A market executive shared AppAnnie’s figures with TechCrunch.)
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.