It’s Official: Google Has A Thing For Indian Social Media Apps

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

The parent company of India’s ShareChat, Mohalla Tech, has raised $300 million in fresh funding from Alphabet Inc’s Google, media giant Times Group, and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. At the time, the social media firm stood at a valuation worth $5 billion.

The deal is set to be closed in early June.

How’s The Josh?

This is Google’s second key investment in India’s short video space. The tech giant previously backed Josh, which competes with ShareChat’s sister company, Moj.

All Set To Buzz

With $266 million already clinched in December 2021 funding, Mohalla Tech stood at a valuation of $3.7 billion. The company’s short video platform, ShareChat, claims to have a monthly active user base of around 180 million.

In February, the company merged with Times Group’s short video platform, MX Takatak, with its Moj platform. It unfolded its plan of creating the largest short-video platform for Indians with this merger. 

Musk stake? 

The firm also counts Twitter and Snap among its backers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk could probably own a stake of 6%-8% in ShareChat if his Twitter bid turns out well. 

Cheer Amid Gloom

Google’s investment shows investor appetite for the short video sector, which comes in a bearish market for Indian startups. ShareChat achieved unicorn status in April 2021 in a Series E round led by US hedge fund Tiger Global and Lightspeed Ventures.

Make In India Finds Its Way Into Social Media 

Short-video platforms like Sharechat, Moj, and Chingari rose to prominence after the government’s ban on Chinese competitors like Tiktok and Helo. Home-grown social media app Koo also grabbed eyeballs with its first-ever self-verification feature recently

Too long? Here’s a one-liner: ShareChat’s parent company raises $300 Mn at a $5 Bn valuation from Google, Times Group, and Temasek; making it Google’s second investment in India’s short video industry.

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