Twitter leads ShareChat\'s Series D funding round
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ShareChat has raised $100 million (around Rs 715 crore) in its Series D round of funding, giving the homegrown vernacular social networking platform a huge capital buffer to take on the Chinese video app TikTok.

Social media giant Twitter and TrustBridge Partners have come in as new investors in this round, ShareChat said in a statement on Friday.

Existing investors Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient and Morningside Venture Capital also participated in the funding round, it added.

The fresh capital will help the Bengaluru-based company strengthen its technology, acquire talent and introduce more features on its platform.

ShareChat, operated by Mohalla Tech Pvt. Ltd, 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.

The Android app has more than 10 million downloads on the Google Play store. It is available in around 10 Indian languages including Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Punjabi and Tamil.

“With this new round of funding, we are positioned to take the next leap in our growth story. As we scale up, our focus remains to help the ShareChat community better express themselves in the comfort of their native language,” said Sachdeva, CEO at ShareChat.

Manish Maheshwari, managing director at Twitter India, said the investment will help ShareChat grow and provide its management team access to executives of the microblogging company as thought partners.

“Twitter and ShareChat are aligned on the broader purpose of serving the public conversation, helping the world learn faster and solve common challenges,” he added.

ShareChat’s biggest competitor in the market currently is TikTok. The company owned by Bytedance, one of the world’s most valuable startups, has recorded app downloads of nearly 300 million in India, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower. The Chinese video app, however, has had its share of trouble in India after a state court ordered the government to prevent its download on the ground that the app was encouraging pornography.

With the latest funding round, ShareChat has raised a total of $224 million, the company said.

ShareChat had last raised equity funding of around $100 million in September 2018 in a round led by Shunwei Capital. 

Previously, ShareChat had raised Rs 116.31 crore ($18.2 million then) in a Series B funding round led by Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi at a post-money valuation of Rs 431 crore ($67 million).

In November 2016, the company had secured $4 million (Rs 27.5 crore) in a Series A round led by Lightspeed India Partners. Other participants included existing investors SAIF Partners and India Quotient, as well as Delhi-based early-stage venture capital firm Venture Highway.

In October 2015, it had mobilised $1.35 million from SAIF Partners and India Quotient. 

The firm was also one among several startups selected by Google for its accelerator programme, where it received $50,000 in equity-free seed funding.

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