ShareChat acquires former employee’s video production firm HPF Films
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Homegrown content and social networking platform ShareChat said Wednesday it has acquired Bengaluru-based video production company HPF Films Pvt. Ltd.

This is the latest acquisition by the Mohalla Tech Pvt. Ltd-operated ShareChat as it seeks to boost its product and content portfolio. It did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition.

The move will help the company and Moj – its short video platform – to build out a better content ecosystem, as well as establish a strong creator fraternity and augment its advertising solutions for brands.

As part of this acquisition, 25 members of HPF Films’ team have joined ShareChat and will focus on areas such as content operations, digital marketing and creative solutions for the company and Moj.

“As ShareChat continues on the aggressive growth journey, it is important for us to invest and build capabilities required to sustain growth on a large base,” said Manohar Charan, ShareChat’s vice president for corporate development and strategic finance.

HPF Films was set up in 2018 by six people including IIT-Kanpur graduates Aditya Raj Somani and Navin Lalwani. Somani, who is the CEO, worked with ShareChat for a few months in 2016 while Lalwani, who is the COO, worked with Flipkart from 2015 to 2018.

HPF Films says it has ideated and produced more than 3,500 titles across different formats for clients including Meesho, OKCredit, Ixigo and Ola. Some of the formats it has worked on include web series, digital ads, short films and documentaries.

This is the third acquisition that ShareChat has made within six months. In April, it acquired meme-sharing platform Memer and integrated the startup’s suite into its own offerings. Then, it acquired Circle Internet in August. Circle Internet is a hyperlocal platform that provides information to Indian language internet users in smaller cities.

ShareChat was founded in 2015 by Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Pratap Singh and Ankush Sachdeva. It allows users to create, discover and share content such as videos, jokes, songs and images.

In August last year, the startup raised $100 million (around Rs 715 crore then) in its Series D funding round. Social media giant Twitter and TrustBridge Partners came on as new investors at the time. Existing investors Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF, India Quotient and Morningside Venture Capital also participated.

Last month, reports suggested that ShareChat was in talks to raise funding from Microsoft Corp. This development came less than a week after it was reported that ShareChat was in early-stage talks with Sequoia Capital and other investors to raise up to $200 million, likely valuing the firm at over $1 billion.

Prior to its Series D funding round, ShareChat raised $100 million in September 2018 from investors led by Shunwei.

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