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India's ShareChat raises US$145 million from Temasek, others at near US$3 billion valuation

India's ShareChat raises US$145 million from Temasek, others at near US$3 billion valuation

FILE PHOTO: A man uses Indian app platform Sharechat on a mobile phone in New Delhi on Jul 2, 2020. (AFP/Prakash Singh)

NEW DELHI: Indian content-sharing platform ShareChat has raised US$145 million in fresh funding from Singapore's Temasek Holdings and two other investors, giving it a valuation of US$2.88 billion, the company told Reuters on Tuesday (Jul 27).

The funding signals growing fascination for Indian content-sharing and short-video apps that have become popular ever since New Delhi last year banned ByteDance's TikTok and some other Chinese apps following an India-China border clash.

ShareChat allows users to post content in 15 Indian languages. After TikTok was banned, the Indian firm also launched a similar short-video sharing app named Moj which has since become popular and clocked millions of downloads.

The latest funding round was led by Temasek and Moore Strategic Ventures, with participation from a fund jointly set up by Mirae Asset and South Korean web portal Naver Corp, ShareChat said in its statement. Reuters is the first to report the fundraise.

The latest investments come around four months after ShareChat raised $502 million from Tiger Global, Snap, Twitter and some others, which at the time valued it at just more than US$2.1 billion.

"Investments raised this year including this additional capital infusion will help the company double down (on) its strategic priorities," ShareChat said.

The company will continue to invest in artificial-intelligence capabilities of video app Moj and enhance its in-app editing tools, said CEO Ankush Sachdeva.

ShareChat has 180 million active users. Moj has 160 million users and counts Facebook's Instagram Reels as its top rival.

India's digital startups ecosystem is becoming a darling of investors.

China's Ant Group-backed food delivery firm Zomato had a stellar debut on Indian bourses last week, valuing the firm at $13 billion, while others including SoftBank-backed ride-hailing firm Ola are also eyeing IPOs.

ShareChat has no immediate IPO plans and the company for now will focus on expanding its current business and offerings, a source familiar with the strategy said. 

Source: Reuters/lk


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