Twitter recently held talks to acquire Indian social media startup ShareChat as the company explored ways to expand its presence in the world’s second-largest internet market and build a global rival to TikTok.
The American firm, which is already an investor in Bangalore-based ShareChat, offered to buy the five-year-old Indian startup for $1.1 billion and had committed an additional investment of $900 million, two of the sources said. ShareChat, backed by Lightspeed Partners India, Elevation Capital, and India Quotient among others, has raised about $260 million to date.
The talks did not materialize into a deal, two sources said, requesting anonymity as the matter is private. TechCrunch could not determine the reason the two companies ended the talks.
Two sources said Twitter had expressed intention to take Moj, a short-form video app that ShareChat owns, to international markets and position it as a rival to Chinese app TikTok.
Twitter declined to comment and ShareChat did not respond to a request for comment.
India’s ban on TikTok last year prompted scores of local startups and international giants to try their hands at short-form video format.
Moj, with over 80 million users already, has emerged as one of the largest players in the category. Earlier this month, Snap inked a deal with ShareChat to integrate its Camera Kit into the Indian short video app. This is the first time Snap had formed a partnership of this kind with a firm in India.
With the buyout offer done being engaged, ShareChat has continued talks with different financial backers for its new financing round. These financial backers incorporate Google, Snap, the sources said.
TechCrunch revealed in January that the Indian startup was conversing with Google and Snap just as some current financial backers including Twitter to raise more than $200 million. A likely procurement by Twitter delayed the speculation talks.
ShareChat, which professes to have more than 160 million clients, offers its interpersonal organization application in 15 Indian dialects and has a huge continuing in little Indian urban areas and towns, or what financial speculator Sajith Pai of Blume Ventures allude as “India 2.” Very couple of major parts in the Indian startup biological system have a scope to this section of this populace, which on account of clients from significantly more modest towns and towns — called “India 3” — getting on the web has extended lately.
In a meeting with TechCrunch a year ago, Ankush Sachdeva, prime supporter and CEO of ShareChat, said the startup’s marquee application was developing “dramatically” and that clients were spending, on a normal, over 30 minutes per day on the help.
Twitter, itself, has battled to make advances outside of greater urban communities and towns in India. Its application came to around 75 million clients in the country in the period of January, as per versatile understanding firm AppAnnie, information of which an industry leader imparted to TechCrunch. It inked an arrangement with news and social application Dailyhunt to bring Moments — curated tweets relating to news and other nearby occasions — to the Google-supported Indian application.
The American informal community has widened its item offering in the previous year in the midst of pressing factor from lobbyist financial backers to quicken development.
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