India’s Sharechat is latest to enter unicorn club with $502m funding round

Photo by Himanshu Choudhary on Unsplash

Homegrown social media apps, Sharechat and Moj, are the latest entrants to the unicorn club. Mohalla Tech, the company behind these apps, has raised $502 million in its latest funding round, led by venture firms Lightspeed Ventures and Tiger Global. American social media companies, Twitter and Snap Inc, also participated in the round.

Ankush Sachdeva, chief executive officer and co-founder of ShareChat, said the fresh funds will be used to grow the company’s user base, strengthen the creator community on its apps, and improve the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) powered recommendation engines.

“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,” said Ravi Mhatre, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures.

Founded in 2016, the social media company has raised over $766 million over six funding rounds so far. The new round has pushed Sharechat’s valuation to over $2.1 billion. The company says it has 280 million users between the two platforms — Sharechat and Moj.

While Sharechat has been around since 2016, its short video platform, Moj, is less than a year old. Moj was launched less than two days after the Indian government banned Chinese short video platform TikTok from operating in India last year. Since then, Moj has become amongst the more popular short video platforms in India along with ad-tech company InMobi’s Roposo, news startup DailyHunt’s Josh and Times Internet-owned MX Taka Tak. The company had claimed it had over 80 million monthly active users (MAUs) in February this year. The company claimed that Sharechat has over 160 million MAUs at the moment.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.