ShareChat, a regional language video and picture sharing platform, has secured as much as $35-40 million from existing investors including Lightspeed India in a bridge round, per a report by Entrackr.
The funding will help ShareChat, headquartered in Bengaluru, spruce up its newly-launched short video app Moj as it looks to capitalize on the opportunity that has been created in India for local players after the government banned 59 Chinese apps including short video app TikTok that reportedly had 200 million registered users in the country.
Going forward, ShareChat could raise a larger amount of capital from investors, added the report.
“ShareChat does not generally comment on market speculations. However, we can confirm there has been no such development at this time,” the company spokesperson said.
Established in 2015, ShareChat allows users to share their opinions, record their lives and make new friends within the comfort of their native language.
It used to count social networking service Helo and TikTok among its competitors – both owned by China’s Bytedance that are currently banned in India.
At the moment, Sharechat has over 150 million registered users, of which 60 million are monthly active users. The startup saw its app base growing by over 50 million in the week after the ban.
And it’s not ShareChat alone. With the ban on Chinese apps that had so far led the way in creating products for the masses in India, a bouquet of local firms has seen a spike in app downloads. These include prominent names such as short-video platform Roposo (owned by InMobi), Chingari and Mitron, among others.
Last year ShareChat made headlines when it raised $100 million in a fresh round of funding from Twitter and private equity firm TrustBridge Partners. Its other backers include Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient and Morningside Venture Capital.
Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to incorporate the comments of the ShareChat spokesperson.