ShareChat on Thursday said it has raised $502 million (about Rs 3,725 crore) in funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Tiger Global, valuing the homegrown social media platform at over $2.1 billion.
Snap Inc (which owns photo-messaging app Snapchat) and existing investors Twitter and India Quotient, among others, also participated in the funding round in Mohalla Tech, the parent company of ShareChat and short video app, Moj.
Founded in 2015, Mohalla Tech has raised over $766 million across six fundraising rounds.
"We are at an exciting inflection point in our journey, where we are going after a massive opportunity with the right team in place and the backing of long-term investors who have a deep conviction in our mission.
“With ShareChat and Moj, we are well-positioned to build the largest AI-powered content ecosystem in India," ShareChat CEO and co-founder Ankush Sachdeva said.
With this infusion of capital, the company will continue to aggressively grow the user base, build a world-class organisation in India and the US and further strengthen the creator community, AI-powered recommendation engine and platform health, he added.
The company launched Moj in July 2020, just days after the Indian government had banned 59 apps with Chinese linkages, including rival TikTok.
Since the ban, several homegrown apps like Roposo, Chingari and Josh (Dailyhunt) have seen significant growth in downloads and user signups on their short video platforms.
Facebook-owned Instagram had also joined the race with Reels, while YouTube pitched its India-first "Shorts" to fill the void created after the TikTok ban.
Moj and ShareChat have a combined base of 280 million users.
“As internet penetration increases, ShareChat's leading content creation platform is poised to expand dramatically by bridging into online purchases of goods and services.
“Additionally, Moj is well-positioned to seize the opportunity presented by the growth of short video in India," Scott Shleifer, partner at Tiger Global, said.
Photograph: Thomas White/Reuters