Google Said to Support India’s ShareChat in Raising $300 Million Funding at $5 Billion Valuation

ShareChat’s Indian parent company has raised nearly $300 million (approximately 2,325 crore) in new funding from Alphabet’s Google, media giant Times Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, valuing the social media company at nearly $5 billion (approximately 38,763). crore), two sources involved in the deal talks told Reuters.

The sources added that an agreement is scheduled to be announced next week.

Mohalla Tech, the parent company of ShareChat, did not respond to a request for comment. Google and Temasek did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while Reuters was not immediately able to reach the Times Group.

This is Google’s second major investment in the short video space in India, having previously backed Josh, who competes with ShareChat’s sister company Moj.

One source said that Google’s investment in a bear market for Indian startups demonstrates the appetite for the short video segment and the startup’s investment thesis. India’s tech startups, which raised a record $35 billion (about Rs 2,71,337 crore) in new funds in 2021, are struggling to raise funds with corporate governance concerns looming large for investors facing a lack of New certainty in global markets.

Short video apps like Moj and Josh have proliferated after India in 2020 banned TikTok from ByteDance and some other Chinese apps after a border clash with China.

ShareChat currently has 180 million monthly active users. Moj, along with recently acquired MX TakaTak by Mohalla, has a combined user base of 300 million, according to a source.

ShareChat was recently valued at $3.7 billion (approximately Rs 28,686 crore) in a $266 million (approximately Rs 2,062 crore) funding round from investors including Alkeon Capital and Temasek. The company also counts Twitter and Snap among its investors.

The source added that if Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter goes ahead, Musk will likely own a 6% to 8% stake in ShareChat.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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