Bengaluru-based social networking platform ShareChat has raised ₹700 crores from social media giant Twitter in a series D funding round. The startup is valued at ₹4,550 crores after the funding. Investors like Chinese VC TrustBridge Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, and Shunwei Capital also participated in the funding round.
Sharechat has already penetrated the Indian market by allowing users to share content in various vernacular languages including Bengali, Tamil, Marathi and local dialects like Haryanvi and Rajasthani. The startup witnesses more than 60 million users on its platform every month.
There were reports earlier this year about Twitter’s discussion with ShareChat to invest around ₹350 crores.
ShareChat is in a hefty competition with China-based Helo, owned and operated by Bytedance, the company behind the famous video sharing platform TikTok.
It is of interest that English is not a language option on ShareChat and the company vows to maintain the same. Due to this decision, the average time spent by users on the app rose to 22 minutes every day. Ankush Sachdeva, the co-founder of ShareChat understood the need for the customer base and thus removed English as an option.
The growth for Twitter is slowing down in India due to limited acceptance in Tier II and Tier III cities. Most of the active userbase of Twitter are English speaking people who reside in Tier I cities and that market is saturated.
ShareChat has cut down the English language from its platform and will soon be launching a user incentive program to give money to its users for generating vernacular content on its platform. There is a huge gap in demand and supply of content in Indian languages like Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.