Indian social networking platform ShareChat on Thursday said it has raised USD 40 million (about Rs 295.8 crore) in funding from Hero MotoCorp's Pawan Munjal, DCM Shriram promoters' family office, and others.
The pre-series E round also saw participation from SAIF Partners, Twitter, Lightspeed Ventures and India Quotient, a statement said.
The company, which has raised USD 264 million in funding till date including this round, did not disclose the valuation at which the latest funds were raised.
"This current round of funding will be utilised towards driving growth for Moj, the newly launched short-video platform from the Sharechat stable. Large parts of the fund have been earmarked for doubling down on investments made towards product development, growing its creator ecosystem and establishing partnerships with music labels," the statement said.
ShareChat CEO and co-founder Ankush Sachdeva said the company is on a rapid growth path and is spearheading the growth of the Indic language social media landscape in the country.
"Our short-video platform Moj has been on an explosive growth trajectory since its launch. This funding will help us further invest in our product development, ML (machine learning) capabilities and helping the creator community," he added.
Moj debuted on Play Store on July 1, two days after the Indian government had banned 59 apps with Chinese linkages, including ByteDance-owned TikTok. Homegrown apps like Roposo, Chingari and Josh (Dailyhunt) have seen significant growth in downloads and user signups on their platforms after the government banned a number of apps with Chinese linkages.
Facebook-owned Instagram joined the race with 'Reels', while YouTube pitched its India-first 'Shorts' to fill the void created after the ban of TikTok in the country.
ShareChat had recently said it is investing in offering new tools to help creators develop content and engage audiences across the country. It is also partnering with various music labels to expand its library for Moj.
ShareChat and Moj together have over 240 million MAUs (monthly active users) presently. ShareChat has exceeded over 160 million MAUs in the past month with the average daily time spent by users on the platform at 31 minutes.
Moj, on the other hand, has garnered over 80 million MAUs with users spending on an average about 34 minutes on the platform.
Hero MotoCorp CEO and Chairman Pawan Munjal has invested in ShareChat in his personal capacity through his Family Trust, while Ajay Shridhar Shriram (Chairman of DCM Shriram) has invested through DCM Shriram Promoters Family Office, the statement said.
"India's IT industry has made an indelible impact on the global economy in recent decades and now India's new-age start-ups are building on the existing resources to reach the next growth stage...I have immense faith in the young entrepreneurs of our country and truly believe in their aim to achieve a significant global customer base," Munjal said.
Shriram said the passion and success exhibited by ShareChat and its growth trajectory have encouraged the development of a whole new social media product ecosystem in India.
"We are equally passionate to contribute to this journey, helping them emerge as leaders in India and also, strong contenders on the global landscape," he added. PTI