Google and Snap in talks to invest in India’s ShareChat
The Bangalore-based startup is in advanced stages of talks to raise money from Google and Snap, three sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
The new financing round — a Series E — is slated to be larger than $200 million with Google alone financing more than $100 million in it, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the talks are private. The round values ShareChat at more than $1 billion, two of the sources said.
Twitter as well as a couple of other existing investors are also engaging to participate in the round. ShareChat, Google, and Snap did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ShareChat has raised about $264 million to date and was valued at nearly $700 million last year.
The terms of the deal could change and the talks may not materialize into an investment, the sources cautioned. Local TV channel ET Now reported last year that Google was in talks to acquire ShareChat.
ShareChat’s marquee and eponymous app caters to users in 15 Indian languages and has a large following in small Indian cities and towns. In an interview with TechCrunch last year, Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and chief executive of ShareChat, said the app was growing “exponentially” and that users were spending, on an average, more than 30 minutes on the app each day.
If the deal goes through, it would be the first investment from Snapchat’s parent company into an Indian startup. Google, on the other hand, has been on a spree of late. The Android-maker last month invested in DailyHunt and InMobi’s Glance, both of which operate short-video apps.
Like the two, ShareChat also operates a short-video app. Its app, called Moj, had amassed more than 80 million monthly active users as of September last year, the startup said at the time.
Last year, Google said it would invest $10 billion in India over the course of five to seven years. Days later, the company invested $4.5 billion in Indian telecom giant Jio Platforms.
More to follow…