Friday, 2024 March 1

TikTok rival ShareChat brings back its laid-off employees as traffic spikes

Shunwei Capital- and Twitter-backed homegrown social media platform ShareChat is ramping up its team, almost two and a half months after laying off over 100 people.

The Bengaluru-based firm has already brought back 50% of the workforce that was let go earlier, it told KrASIA on Friday. Of the rest 50 people, 20 have been outplaced successfully. The five-year-old startup also added that it would hire 150-200 people in the next six months.

After rehiring about 50 of its laid-off employees, along with the new hires, ShareChat now has a team of 400 people, it said.

As more and more people use its one-and-a-half month-old short-video app Moj, ShareChat said it needed to ramp-up the talent to ensure smooth functioning of the app.

Within two days of the ban on 59 Chinese apps including TikTok in June, ShareChat had launched Moj, which had been put together by its product team in 30 hours. In the consecutive weeks, both ShareChat and Moj saw a spike in the number of users, and the company subsequently realized that it won’t be able to scale the new product with the kind of skill set and team strength they have.

With the ramped-up team, the company is essentially looking to optimize data so as to reduce the pressure on its servers, strengthen its products, and expand the team that would be able to moderate the user-generated content when flagged. According to the company, the monthly active users (MAU) for ShareChat stand at 130 million, while Moj has over 50 million MAUs.

It is to be noted that American tech giant Microsoft is said to be in talks with ShareChat to invest USD 100 million. Meanwhile, the startup is also in discussions with its existing investors SAIF Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Twitter to raise USD 200 million.

It raised USD 100 million in its Series D round last year at a valuation of USD 650 million. The round was led by Twitter and TrustBridge with participation from other existing investors including Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient, and Morningside Venture Capital. The company has raised a total of USD 223 million till now.

Moulishree Srivastava
Moulishree Srivastava
In-depth, analytical and explainer stories and interviews on technology, internet economy, investments, climate tech and sustainability. Coverage of business strategies, trends in startup and VC ecosystems and cross-border stories capturing the influence of SEA, China and Japan on the local startup industry.

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