Sunday, June 4, 2023

Google backs India’s ShareChat in $300 million funding round at $5 billion valuation

The parent company of India’s ShareChat has raised nearly $300 million in fresh funding from Alphabet Inc.’s Google, media giant Times Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, which value the social media firm at around $5 billion, two of the two involved in discussions of the deal. sources told Reuters.

Sources said a deal is to be announced early next week.

ShareChat’s parent company Mohalla Tech did not respond to a request for comment. Google and Temasek did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while Reuters could not immediately reach the Times group.

This is Google’s second major investment in India’s short video space, backing the first Josh, which competes with ShareChat’s sister firm Moj.

Google’s investment in the slowdown market for Indian start-ups reflects appetite for the short video sector and start-ups’ investment thesis, a source said. India’s tech startups, which raised a record $35 billion in new funding in 2021, are struggling to raise funds as corporate governance concerns loom large for investors facing a new uncertainty in global markets.

Short video apps like Moj and Josh grew in popularity in 2020 after India banned ByteDance’s TikTok and some other Chinese apps following a border clash with China.

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

ShareChat’s final value was $3.7 billion in a $266 million funding round from investors including Alcain Capital and Temasek. The firm also counts Twitter and Snap among its investors.

If Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter goes through, Musk’s potential stake in ShareChat would be between 6% and 8%, the source said.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengtil; Editing by Susan Fenton)

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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