Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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Google or Microsoft: Who will invest in ShareChat?

Tech giants such as Google or Microsoft is set to have held preliminary talks to invest in Bengaluru-based regional language social media app ShareChat.

Earlier this month, Microsoft investing $100 million in ShareChat was taking rounds. While the company has expressed interest in TikTok now, the latest news reports confirm that Google might inject $150-200 million in ShareChat for its next investment. The news of whether Google or Microsoft will acquire the platform remains unclear at the moment, but the investment will help ShareChat become a social networking market leader.

ShareChat is a regional social platform made in Bengaluru and is India’s homegrown counterpart to TikTok, as well as its direct competitor. It is available in various Indian languages and has more than 60 million active users.

Given how things have changed, especially after the ban, ShareChat benefits a lot in terms of time spent, in terms of revenue, in terms of daily active users. We are suddenly a lot more valuable than our previously thought valuation. We have got a lot of inbound interest, and we are talking to everyone, including all the global players, – said Ankush Sachdeva, Chief Executive, ShareChat

As soon as TikTok was banned, the doors of opportunity were opened to ShareChat. Downloads began to pour in, and in just 36 hours, ShareChat clocked in over 15 million downloads, after which the company was emboldened to quickly release a short-video sharing app ‘Moj’ the very next day. If Microsoft successfully concludes this acquisition, ShareChat will be the newest member of the Unicorn league, having reached a net worth of $1 billion.

Speaking about how ShareChat has more to offer when compared to TikTok, Sanjeev Kumar, Forecast Analyst at Forrester said,

The synergy can come in from the content creators, reaching the diverse set of audiences given the local appeal that ShareChat carries. Both the apps have been successful outside the metros and have the ingredients to capture the digital advertising spend channeled towards India’s next big cities in the making.

It’s also commendable to note that Twitter was first to strike a $100 million deal, which pegged the valuation of ShareChat at $650 million, after which Microsoft followed suit. Although the Microsoft deal has not reached a final stage, ShareChat is actively trying to raise capital to achieve the desired threshold of $200 million in its current series D funding round from existing investors, including Twitter.

ShareChat is determined to provide stellar user experience, and in this regard, the company recently migrated to Google Cloud. Although the fact that Microsoft might shell out $100 million in a desi app is quite intriguing, this may be a brilliant move to benefit from the uncertainty and the possibilities to come from India’s Chinese app ban.

On the other hand, Google unveiled its India Digitization Fund, a $10 billion initiative to funnel investment into promising companies. Google has been hunting for the next big social network. While the investment in ShareChat can turn out to be a strategic move on Google, it will help the company gain market presence as Google is the king of search engine optimization. The brand will get visibility where searchability is best, and the content is most likely to go viral.

ShareChat’s popularity garnered the attention of tech giants like Microsoft or Google. With a user base of over 140 million monthly active users, ShareChat has the responsibility of providing a seamless experience for them. The journey is both challenging and exciting.

Anju Nambiar
Anju Nambiar
Anju has an insatiable thirst for learning, reading, and experiencing the unknown. She is a freelance writer and loves all things that make life beautiful and worth living. She is also fiercely creative, compassionate, and hopes to move the world with her writing.
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