A group of investors, including Snap and Twitter, have pumped in half a billion dollars into Mohalla Tech, an Indian start-up that owns ShareChat and Moj (a TikTok-like app).
A ShareChat spokesperson told CNN Business, that the $502 million funding round was led by investment firms Tiger Global and Lightspeed Venture Partners, and boosted the valuation of Mohalla Tech to a little over $2 billion. This is Snap’s first investment in the company, while Twitter has taken part in two previous rounds.
Ankush Sachdeva, Mohalla Tech CEO and Co-Founder, in a statement said that with this infusion of capital, the company would continue to aggressively grow the user base. “We are at an exciting inflection point in our journey, where we are going after a massive opportunity with the right team in place and the backing of long-term investors who have a deep conviction in our mission. We ShareChat and Moj, we are well-positioned to build the largest AI-powered content ecosystem in India,” he said. “With this infusion of capital, the company will continue to aggressively grow the user base, build a world-class organization in India and the United States, and further strengthen the creator community, AI-powered recommendation engine and platform health.”
Founded in 2015, Mohalla Tech has raised over $766 million in six funding rounds. It has 280 million users across its two products – ShareChat and short video app Moj.
Moj was launched less than two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government banned the Chinese-app TikTok and other apps in June 2020. Moj has already amassed 120 million monthly active users, showing India’s keen interest in finding alternatives to popular Chinese apps, that remain banned in the country.
Scott Shleifer, partner at Tiger Global, in a statement said Moj is well positioned to seize the opportunity presented by the growth of short video in India. “We are impressed with the team’s understanding of these rapidly evolving technologies and its ability to execute quickly,” he said.