ShareChat on the way to becoming Unicorn with funding from Google and Snap Inc.

Source: Deccan Herald

ShareChat is a Bengaluru-based social networking and regional content platform that has been known to raise about $100 million from Google, Snap Inc. and Twitter in its latest Series E round.

Founded back in 2015 by Farid Ahsan, Ankush Sachdeva and Bhanu Pratap Singh, ShareChat is a home-grown India-based social media start-up that offers content in regional languages. The platform shares content in over 15 Indian regional languages which is also its Unique Selling Point in the Indian market.

As we all know about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected our economy and daily lives, many businesses were forced shut while some were making historic entrepreneurial records. ShareChat was one of these businesses that recorded a 166% increase in monthly userbase during the month of November.  According to a report by Inc42, the monthly user base figure jumped from 60 million to 160 million.

This spike in numbers attracted a lot of attention from established tech giants and several investors from across the globe. In November 2020, speculations in the industry were afloat that Google will acquire ShareChat. However, there has been no affirmations or confirmations on the news.

According to several reports, recent investments from tech giants including Google, Twitter and Snapchat’s parent, Snap Inc. have set the home-grown social media start-up for a brighter future. It is expected that the start-up will attract more global investments in the near future and with this latest fundraise in its Series E round, ShareChat is all set to become the member of the prestigious Unicorn Club. Yes! This fundraise will value the company at over USD 1 billion.

As mentioned in the company profile on CrunchBase, till date the Indian social media start-up has raised total funding worth USD 262.8 million in over eight funding rounds.

Furthermore, sources suggest that Google will most likely deploy more capital into the Indian market from its Google to India Digitisation Fund worth USD 10 billion, which is meant for Indian start-ups to boost the nation’s economic value.

India is in an ongoing digitisation phase where affordable internet and smartphones are growing popularly. The internet consumption in India has reached a number of over 500 million active users which clearly means that technology is penetrating the rural regions, growing the popularity of social media, e-commerce, ed-tech and other internet-based platforms.

Another reason for the increased popularity of ShareChat is the ban on Chinese app, TikTok, WeChat and Likee. Absence of these platforms from the market left an unattended userbase which later switched to the local social media alternative i.e., ShareChat.