India: Twitter-backed social media startup ShareChat lays off 25% staff

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Twitter-backed social media startup ShareChat has laid off 101 employees, or 25 per cent of its staff, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that has hampered its advertising business severely, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The company, headquartered in Bengaluru, had started monetizing through advertisements only last year, the report added.

ShareChat is understood to have sent an email to its staff on Wednesday morning indicating that the advertisement market would remain unpredictable going forward this year and that it is accordingly adopting cost-cutting measures.

“… today with the market uncertainties due to COVID-19, we are compelled to take a relook at our business. We have had to make a few decisions that would allow us to become leaner and position the company better for the future,” Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder & CEO, ShareChat in the email.

ShareChat, founded in 2015 by three IIT Kanpur alumni, competes with Facebook and TikTok and allows users to share their opinions and record their lives in regional languages. It made headlines last month when it bought Bengaluru-based Memer, marking its second acquisition this year.

In February, ShareChat acquired online fashion marketplace Elanic, signaling its interest to foray into e-commerce.

The company, backed by investors such as Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and SAIF Capital, raised $100 million in a fresh round of funding from Twitter and private equity firm TrustBridge Partners.

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.