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India's ShareChat raises $502 million from Snap, Twitter, others; valuation tops $2 billion

TechnologyApr 08, 2021 01:00AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian content-sharing platform ShareChat said it has raised $502 million in fresh funding from Tiger Global, Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) and some existing investors such as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), valuing it at more than $2 billion.

The funding was led by U.S. venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners and American investment firm Tiger, ShareChat said in a statement on Thursday.

Tiger Global and Snap, owner of popular photo-messaging app Snapchat, are new investors in the Indian platform.

The funding signals growing investor interest in Indian social media apps that are looking to tap into pent-up demand after New Delhi banned dozens of Chinese apps, including ByteDance's TikTok, following an India-China border clash last year.

Moj and other similar alternatives of the popular video app TikTok have been finding favour with users in India, where smartphone use has been rapidly surging.

ShareChat is now valued at little more than $2.1 billion, it said, adding that new funds will be used to double down on technology initiatives and support user growth.

"With this infusion of capital we would continue to aggressively grow our user base," ShareChat CEO Ankush Sachdeva said.

The ShareChat app has 160 million users in India and Moj has 120 million. Moj and other similar TikTok alternatives have been finding favour with users in India, where smartphone use has been rapidly surging.

ShareChat has plans to raise more funds from investors in the coming months, a source familiar with its plans said.

The company declined to comment on future funding plans.

ShareChat's valuation makes it India's latest "unicorn", which describes tech startups valued at more than $1 billion.

Including the latest funding, ShareChat has now raised $766 million over six funding rounds.

India's ShareChat raises $502 million from Snap, Twitter, others; valuation tops $2 billion
 

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