ShareChat’s Moj and MX TakaTak have signed a deal to buy out and merge Times Internet-owned MX Takatak, driving consolidation in short video highly competitive market from key competitors like Instagram Reels. They will have more than 300 million users and a 100 million creator community altogether. MX Media and its stockholders will become strategic shareholders of ShareChat as a result of this merger.
MX TakaTak will continue to operate as an independent platform for the time being, but the two platforms’ creator base, content supply, and recommendation algorithms will be merged, according to a joint statement from the companies. Though the financial detail of the deal was not disclosed, reports suggest ShareChat could spend up to $600-700 million to acquire MX TakaTak. According to sources, the value of the deal may vary as the transaction wraps up.
ShareChat’s parent Mohalla Tech employs around 2000 individuals, and the acquisition brings 180 MX TakaTak employees on board. According to reports, MX TakaTak will be rebranded in about six months, with the deal expected to close by the end of the month. Moj expects the move to improve ShareChat’s short video engagement on the platform. Moj (160 million monthly active users (MAUs)) with MX TakaTak (150 million MAUs) would have a consolidated active user base of more than 300 million as a result of the transaction. Josh, a local competitor, has around 130 million MAUs.
Ankush Sachdeva, Co-founder & CEO, ShareChat & Moj, said in the statement, “We at ShareChat are building India’s largest content ecosystem which has been on an unprecedented growth trajectory. MX TakaTak is a popular platform and this merger further solidifies our position in the short video ecosystem. With this development, we aim to build the largest original content platform on Moj along with the largest community of users across India.”
Karan Bedi, CEO of MX Media, commented on the acquisition, saying that the merger of MX TakaTak and Moj’s AI and execution capabilities end up creating a truly world-class short video platform. “MX has created two ‘unicorns’ within one business, unlocking significant value for our shareholders, and will now continue to double down on OTT, with significantly increased financial resources,” he added.
The development follows just two months after ShareChat’s parent company, Mohalla Tech, secured $266 million in a new round of funding led by Alkeon Capital, with participation from new and existing investors including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, Harbourvest, Moore Strategic Ventures, and India Quotient. Within five months of this funding round, ShareChat’s valuation increased by 32 percent to $3.7 billion. It was valued at $2.8 billion during its Series F round of funding, which was announced in July 2021.
This acquisition happened at a time when the short-video segment is gaining popularity, led by Instagram’s Reels. According to RedSeer, while Facebook’s short videos and Instagram’s Reels tend to dominate among the top 50 cities, their Indian counterparts, such as DailyHunt’s Josh, MX TakaTak, and Moj, have a considerable user base in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. After the Indian government banned TikTok in June 2020, indigenous short video websites gained popularity. While Moj was introduced around the time of the ban, MX TakaTak and Josh were launched in July and September, respectively.