Bengaluru-based vernacular social networking startup ShareChat has raised around ₹720 ($100 million) in a fresh round of funding.
The round was led by existing investor Shunwei Capital, along with new investors Hong Kong-based Morningside Ventures and Jesmond Holdings, an affiliate of Russian billionaire Yuri Milner‘s DST Global, as revealed by documents filed with Registrar of Companies.
Other existing investors that participated in the round include Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, SAIF Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Post investment, the social networking startup is valued at around ₹3,332 crores ($460 million). The startup’s valuation has increased more than sevenfold, since its last valuation of ₹431 crores ($67 million), post series B round.
ShareChat was founded by three IIT-Kanpur alumni, Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh, and Ankush Sachdeva in 2015. It provides a vernacular social networking platform for users to share and discover images, songs, videos, and other content in their own language. ShareChat has more than 8 million daily active users with over 10 million downloads on downloads on Google Play Store and offers content in more than 14 local languages including Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil, Bengali, and Kannada, among others.
The vernacular startup is looking to expand into other micro markets including Northeast region before it plans to monetize the platform through advertising, influencer marketing, and in-app purchases. Other players in the vernacular domain competing with ShareChat include Roposo, Clip App, Vokal, Dailyhunt, and Samosa Labs, among others.
Recently, Gurugram-based digital media startup NewsBytes raised ₹7.2 crores in pre-series A round, to offer vernacular content to its users. Also, vernacular knowledge sharing startup Vokal raised additional ₹11 crores as a part of series A round led by Kalaari Capital.
Investments in the vernacular domain have picked up lately, owing to the growth of local language users in the country, as mobile internet penetration increases in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
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