The parent company of Indian social media startup ShareChat and short video app Moj, Mohalla Tech, has landed a USD 145 million check from Temasek, Moore Strategic Ventures, and Mirae-Naver Asia Growth Fund.
The deal values the company at USD 2.88 billion and is part of the Series F round it kicked off in April when it raised USD 502 million from Tiger Global, Snap, and Twitter, among others.
“We have concluded our USD 650 million Series F round, raising additional capital from Temasek, Moore Strategic Ventures, and Mirae at a USD 3 billion valuation. We are thankful and excited to have them on our journey to build India’s largest AI-powered content ecosystem,” Ankush Sachdeva, CEO and co-founder of Moj and ShareChat, tweeted on Tuesday.
The most recent funding takes the total amount raised by the six-year-old startup to over USD 911 million. It plans to use this capital to accelerate user growth, attract and incentivize a diverse creator base, and create better AI feeds for its platforms.
“This additional investment for Series F is a validation of our market leadership and a reflection of investor trust in our execution capabilities. We are immensely proud of what we have been able to achieve with Moj and ShareChat in the last 12 months,” said Sachdeva in a statement.
Founded in 2015 by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Singh, and Farid Ahsan as a content-sharing platform where users can post local content on WhatsApp, ShareChat has emerged as the leading regional language social network for users to share content, consume videos, see trending topics, and chat with other users, among other things. Available in 15 local languages, it targets content creators and consumers in India’s lower-tier cities.
Meanwhile, Moj, which was launched a day after Chinese short video behemoth TikTok was banned by the Indian government in June 202o and competes with dozens of local and global players like Mitron, Chingari, Roposo, Josh, and Reels, has grown rapidly over the past year, leveraging ShareChat’s reach and popularity among users.
The company claims to have 180 million monthly active users on ShareChat and 160 million on Moj. Users, on average, spend 34 minutes every day on Moj, which sees over 4.5 billion daily views. ShareChat users spend an average of 31 minutes daily on the app, the firm said.
According to the data collated by Sensor Tower, ShareChat has generated more than 294 million downloads across Apple’s App Store and Google Play, to date. In H1 2021, the app recorded a 129% increase in downloads compared to H1 2020, raking 46 million installs. Moj, on its part, has generated 198 million downloads from the App Store and Google Play, so far. Almost half of it or 87.8 million installs happened in the first half of 2021.
“We are excited to partner with Moj as it builds India’s premier short-form video platform. We’ve been impressed by its management team’s speed and agility in capturing the opportunity,” said James McIntyre, senior managing director and COO at Moore Strategic Ventures. “This round will help to accelerate that growth and allow Moj and ShareChat to continue to develop the best ecosystem for content creators and consumers alike.”
To maintain its leadership position, the company will continue to invest in building its AI capabilities and advanced editing tools while helping its creators monetize the platform, Sachdeva said.
Last November, Sachdeva set up a research and development facility in Silicon Valley to build AI-based products and solutions for ShareChat and Moj, including deep learning, camera technology, and recommendation engines. Since then, the company has been strengthening its global research team by hiring senior executives in the AI and ML spaces in the UK and the US.