Indian video app ShareChat has been valued at nearly $5 billion after its parent company raised nearly $300 million from Alphabet’s Google, media giant Times Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.
This is Google’s second key investment in India’s short video apps, having previously backed Josh, which competes with ShareChat’s sister app Moj. A deal is set to be announced as early as next week, sources said.
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 chief executive Elon Musk to buy Twitter goes through, Musk will have potentially a stake of between 6% and 8% in ShareChat, the source added.
Google’s investment in a bearish market for Indian startups shows the appetite for the short video sector and the startup’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 banned ByteDance’s TikTok and some other Chinese apps following a border clash with China in mid-2020.
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, according to one of the sources.
Mohalla Tech, ShareChat’s parent company, did not respond to a request for comment. Google and Temasek did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while the Times Group could not be immediately reached.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell