ShareChat - Entertaining the regional audience with amazing content!

Vidhi Punamiya Vidhi Punamiya
Aug 27, 2020 5 min read
ShareChat - Entertaining the regional audience with amazing content!

The evolution of social networking platforms only dates back to a decade before when the smartphones and the internet revolutionized the way people communicated. With the vision of providing great communication and then a networking platform, in October 2015, ShareChat was founded by three IITians from IIT Kanpur namely Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh, and Ankush Sachdeva. Initially, ShareChat started as a content sharing tool for the famous messaging application WhatsApp for the users who need to share more than 100K content pieces in a day. But as per recent times, this platform has now successfully evolved into a regional language-driven social networking platform.

Company Name Sharechat
Headquarter Bangalore
Sector Social Media
Founders Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh, Ankush Sachdeva
Founded 2015
Website we.sharechat.com

ShareChat - About and how it works
ShareChat - How did it start?
ShareChat - Competitors
ShareChat - Startup Challenges
ShareChat - Business and Revenue Model
ShareChat - Acquisition
ShareChat - Funding and Investors
ShareChat - Growth
ShareChat - Future Plans

ShareChat - About and how it works

ShareChat much like any other networking platform, allows its users to create, discover and share content amongst one another. Similarly, the users can follow other users who can be content creators, friends or any personality of interest to the user on ShareChat for regular updates. This social networking platform is available in 14 different languages, namely, Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Odia, Kannada, Assamese, Haryanvi, Rajasthani, and Bhojpuri. This application also provides its users with health tips, home-made remedies, weight loss, religious quotes and dictionary to only name a few. Apparently, the ShareChat users are not only excited about consuming the content but also love to create it.

In the year 2018, it launched quite a few exciting features under ShareChat Talkies like anonymous chat options, direct messaging to name a few. Other exciting and newly launched features include:

  • “Shake-N-Chat” which randomly connects two or more users engaging with content from creatively similar genres over a personal chat
  • “Private Messaging” is designed to encourage the users to opt for one to one communication in the versatile Indian languages
  • “Open tagging” is the feature that allows the users to create tags and post relevant content under these specific user-generated tags.

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ShareChat - How did it start?

Sharechat logo
Sharechat Logo

ShareChat is based on a very generic insight. All of this all started when the co-founders observed that there exists a segment of users, who would love to express themselves but do not have a platform and given an opportunity they wouldn’t be reluctant to express. So ideally this regional audience has their own preferences when it comes to content consumption which most assuredly cannot be served by social products used by the metro audience. According to the co-founders, this regional set of the audience was widely unaddressed and the market was relatively untouched until ShareChat came in the picture. And that’s how ShareChat was born by the three brilliant minds who capitalized on a general insight to make it a million-dollar startup.

ShareChat - Competitors

Smartphones today are full of social networking and content sharing applications because that’s what people want to see and do today. In this highly competitive field, ShareChat, directly and indirectly, competes with Roposo, BetterButter, Giphy, Nerdery, Digg and many more. With Instagram launching IGTV and Snapchat’s endless innovations, there’s immense competition for ShareChat to face. It has also been facing cut-throat competition from China’s ByteDance as it is actively eating up ShareChat’s market share. And over the past two years, vernacular social media space in the country vastly heated up after Bytedance-owned Helo entering the market space.


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ShareChat - Startup Challenges

According to one of the co-founders, Ankush, “One of the biggest challenges we have is teaching the audience what a feed is, why you follow someone, why you create content. That is one thing which is missing in all the social networks and that’s why our audience, which is this new audience that has come up in India, finds it extremely difficult to use Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat”.

ShareChat - Business and Revenue Model

ShareChat does not charge its users to earn revenue. Instead, it generates revenue through advertisements, payment transactions, and sponsored campaigns.

ShareChat - Acquisition

ShareChat acquired hyperlocal information platform Circle Internet on August 2020. Circle Internet provides local information to Indian language internet users. It has a network of over 1,000 volunteers.

The company says it will contribute to building a “language-first, community-driven user-generated hyperlocal content ecosystem".

“Circle App will continue to grow independently and empower our users to post more relevant and contextual content on the platform," said Manohar Charan, vice president of corporate development and strategic finance at ShareChat

ShareChat - Funding and Investors

To date, ShareChat has raised a funding of close to $224 million.

  • In August 2019, it acquired its Series D round of funding worth $ 100 million from Twitter and TrustBridge Partners along with existing investors like Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient, and Morningside Venture Capital.
  • In September 2018, ShareChat raised $100 million in its Series C funding from Shunwei Capital along with new investors Morningside Ventures of China and Jesmond Holdings. Xiaomi, SAIF Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners also invested a significant amount in the firm.
  • In January 2018, the company had raised $18.2 Million from its Series B funding from Xiaomi Singapore and its sister concern- Shunwei Capital.
  • In November 2016, ShareChat raised its Series A funding from lead investors called Lightspeed Venture Partners and others. The funding amount equaled $4 million.
  • In July 2016, SAIF Partners invested $1.4 million in the seed funding round of ShareChat.

ShareChat - Growth

  • ShareChat has been downloaded 21 million times
  • ShareChat has 60 million users
  • On an average, around 5 million content pieces get shared every day
  • ShareChat has half a million active users monthly
  • ShareChat has an average Play Store rating of 4.5
  • Has grown 7x in 2018-19

ShareChat - Future Plans

In the coming future, ShareChat claims that there will be major changes in the way the application functions. The users can fairly expect a lot more variety in the area of the content formats. Also, the users can expect a lot more content creators transforming into celebrities, and to see people who become famous on ShareChat. Also, India has 22 official languages and more than 1600 known dialects. So ShareChat wants to cater to the more and more regional audience and they certainly don’t want to limit themselves to India. ShareChat currently has more than 130 million monthly active users (MAUs) and has been trying to take advantage of TikTok’s absence from India amid the government’s ban.

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