The app is popular among small Indian towns
Indian social media startup ShareChat is in talks with Twitter about the American-born app expanding its presence in India.
India is currently the world’s second-largest internet market, and ShareChat is a global rival to Chinese app TikTok.
Twitter is already an investor in the Bangalore-based app.
Now, they want to gain a larger presence in India by buying ShareChat and pushing it to compete against TikTok.
ShareChat added Twitter as an investor in 2019.
According to sources, Twitter offered to buy ShareChat for $1.1 billion and committed an additional $900 million investment.
Lightspeed Partners India, Elevation Capital, India Quotient and more have joined Twitter in backing ShareChat.
To date, ShareChat has raised around $260 million.
Sources also say that Twitter has shown an interest in Moj, to take it to international markets as a TikTok rival.
Short-form video app Moj is owned by ShareChat, and India’s ban on TikTok in 2020 caused many businesses to consider moving into the world of short-form video.
Moj has evolved to become one of the most popular apps in the short-form video category.
The app has attracted over 80 million users since its inception in 2020.
In January 2021, it became apparent that ShareChat had been talking to the likes of Google and Snapchat to raise over $200 million.
The Indian startup was also in discussions with some of their existing investors, including Twitter.
However, the investment talks were extended as a result of Twitter’s potential purchase of ShareChat.
ShareChat claims to have over 160 million users, and the app is available in 15 Indian languages.
The app is popular among small Indian towns and cities.
As a result, it has a level of popularity not shared with many other Indian startups.
ShareChat’s popularity is also due to the introduction of technology in India’s even smaller towns and cities.
In a 2020 interview with TechCrunch, Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and the Chief Executive of ShareChat said the app was “exponentially” growing.
Sachdeva also said that, on average, ShareChat users were using the app for more than 30 minutes per day.
On the other hand, Twitter has not had the same luck with making its way out of the bigger cities and towns in India.
The American app is yet to tap into the smaller villages.
According to mobile insight firm AppAnnie, Twitter reached around 75 million users in India in January 2021.
The American-based app has extended its product offering in the last year, in an aim to increase growth due to pressure from investors.