Indian content-sharing platform ShareChat is in early-stage talks with Sequoia Capital and some other investors to raise up to $200 million, which could value the platform business at some $1 billion.
ShareChat has appointed JPMorgan to counsel about the new fund raising that it hopes to finish prior to the end of the year, said the sources, who declined to be named as the talks were personal.
The discussions come as Indian programs like ShareChat are seeing a popularity surge after New Delhi from June prohibited 59 Chinese source apps such as ByteDance’s TikTok following a border clash between the 2 nations.
ShareChat, in which Twitter invested an undisclosed amount, declined to comment. It has 140 million monthly active users in India.
JPMorgan declined to comment, and a spokeswoman for Sequoia in India didn’t respond to Reuters questions.
ShareChat allows users to post content in 15 Indian languages and afterwards TikTok was prohibited, it established an identical short-video sharing program named Moj that has clocked up more than 50 million downloads up to now.
The cash raised by ShareChat will be utilised to increase its video app further, bring more information creators to its stage and raise its marketing spend, ” said the first source.
“Investor interest in the company (ShareChat) is strong and 2020 may end up being their best year,” the source added.
ShareChat is in the process of completing a different, smaller fund raise of $50-$70 million, mainly from existing investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, the second source said.
Lightspeed did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Other home-grown TikTok alternatives such as Chingari and Mitron will also be finding favour with users in India. Instagram also last month introduced a new video sharing attribute known as “Reels” on its platform in India, much to the distress of TikTok.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah in New Delhi and Anirban Sen in Bengaluru. Editing by David Evans.
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