Indian social networking platform ShareChat has completed its Series D funding round led by social media giant Twitter which raised around $100 million in an equity financing round.
The Bengaluru based company is valued at around $600-650 million after the Series D round, which also saw investments from a Chinese VC TrustBridge Partners and existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, and Shunwei Capital.
Earlier this year, there were reports of the micro-blogging site to be in talks with Sharechat and invest around $50 million in an equity financing round.
Sharechat has penetrated the Indian market by providing users with the option of sharing content in various vernacular languages, ranging from Bengali, Tamil, Marathi and even having support for local dialects such as Haryanvi and Rajasthani. It claims to serve around 60 million users monthly
It is already tussling for market share with Chinese company Bytedance’s Helo
Interestingly, English is not a language option on the platform, and the company vows to maintain the same according to its co-founder/CEO Ankush Sachdeva. The firm understood the need for its active consumer base and removed English as an option while they were focussing on the Indian market and as a result, the average time spent by users on the app rose to 22 Minutes per day.
Twitter, on the other hand, has seen its growth slowing down in India due to the limited acceptance of the platform among the internet users in Tier II and Tier III cities and towns. Most of its active userbase includes English speaking residents of the Tier I cities in India and that market is already very much saturated with a slew of social media options.
ShareChat would be using the proceeds to invest in its IT infrastructure and push expansion in its growth stage. It also has plans to introduce a user incentive program, giving money to its users for generating vernacular content on the platform as there is a huge demand and supply gap of content in vernacular language on social media.
Speaking about revenue, Sachdeva said that the company understands its obligation towards investors as it is already in its Series D round and they need to make money, but the primary focus would be on growing the company. Previously, Sharechat had sold ad space on its platform to generate revenue.
With most of its userbase in India, the social media platform is also popular among migrant workers employed in the Middle East and users from Bangladesh and Nepal due to its local language support.