Mohalla Tech, the parent company of India’s ShareChat has raised nearly $300 million in a VC funding round from Alphabet Inc’s Google, media giant Times Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, Reuters news report said.
This is Google’s second key investment in India’s short video space, having previously backed Josh, which competes with ShareChat’s sister firm Moj.
Google’s investment in a market for Indian start-ups shows the appetite for the short video sector and the start-up’s investment thesis. India’s tech startups, which raised a record $35 billion in new funds in 2021, have been struggling to raise funds as corporate governance concerns loom large for investors facing a new uncertainty in global markets.
Short video apps like Moj and Josh shot up in popularity after India in 2020 banned ByteDance’s TikTok and some other Chinese apps following a border clash with China.
ShareChat currently has 180 million monthly active users. Moj, along with Mohalla’s recently acquired MX TakaTak, has a combined user base of 300 million, the report said.
The latest investment will value the social media firm at nearly $5 billion. ShareChat was last valued at $3.7 billion in a $266 million funding round from investors including Alkeon Capital and Temasek. The firm also counts Twitter and Snap among its investors.
If the bid by Tesla CEO Elon Musk to buy Twitter goes through, Musk will have potentially a stake of between 6-8 percent in ShareChat.