Twitter led a new round of investment to India’s popular social media platform, ShareChat, with a $100M investment together with other multinational corporations rallying behind the four-year-old company.
ShareChat serves tens of millions of people in regional languages, investing a lucrative option for companies like Twitter. Aside from the tech giant, other companies such as TrustBridge Partners, and existing investors Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient and Morningside Venture Capital also participated in the Series D round of ShareChat.
The investments push ShareChat’s all-time raise to $224 million, valued the firm at about $650 million, said people familiar with the matter.
“Twitter and ShareChat are aligned on the broader purpose of serving the public conversation, helping the world learn faster and solve common challenges. This investment will help ShareChat grow and provide the company’s management team access to Twitter’s executives as thought partners,” said Manish Maheshwari, managing director of Twitter India, in a prepared statement.
Twitter’s investment on ShareChat is the newest in the wave of Silicon Valley companies investing in Indian startups. ShareChat serves 60 million users each month in 15 regional languages, said Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder, and CEO of the firm, but is currently not supporting English. Sachdeva said that they are not planning into integrating English in their platform any time soon.;
“For some reason, everyone wanted to converse in English. There was an inherent bias to pick English even when they did not know it.” This makes sense as only 10% of India’s 1.3 billion people speak English. Hindi, a regional language, on the other hand, is spoken by about half a billion people, according to official government figures.
“We’re in the Series D now, so there is obviously an obligation we have to our investors to make money. But we all believe that we need to focus on growth at this stage,” Sachdeva added.