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ShareChat raises $502 million, now valued at $2 billion

On Thursday, ShareChat announced that it raised US$502 million from Tiger Global, Lightspeed, Twitter, Snap and other investors. The investment, at a valuation of US$2 billion,  has leapfrogged the social media company into the unicorn club which has seen 8 other Indian entrants since the start of this year.

The company began exploring funding opportunities with investors months ago and had also considered a acquisition deal with Twitter. ShareChat has 160 million monthly active users (MAUs) in 15 languages. Sharechat was valued at US$650 million at its last financing round in 2020.

The company’s growth was no doubt bolstered by the banishment of Bytedance’s TikTok from India. Within day of the app being banned in India, ShareChat developed and launched its own short video app Moj, which now has 120 million MAUs.

When we saw a large vacuum emerge on June 29 with a lot of short-video apps exiting the market — we knew this opportunity was for us. There were millions of short-video creators already trained for creating that content supply. The real game was therefore going to be on building the most relevant feed for the user and we were the only Indian company that had built a world-class feed recommendation system for short-form content.

ShareChat said it applies artificial intelligence to understand content semantics and quality. The company says it develops “multimodal” machine learning models, which can process visual, audio, and text data “to make machines interpret content in the same way as humans do”. These representations are used to effectively match a post to the right set of users, but also to “address” safety concerns such as removing NSFW, baitish, and spammy content. The company said its “AI-first” approach in Moj has led to 50% higher retention and 2x the number of Daily-Active Users compared to its closest competitor.

Source: ShareChat

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