|Original author(s)||Ankush Sachdeva|
|Initial release||October 2015|
|Available in||15 languages|
ShareChat is an Indian social media and social networking service, developed by Bangalore-based Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd. It was founded by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh and Farid Ahsan, and incorporated on 8 January 2015. ShareChat has over 250 million monthly active users across 15 Indic languages. The company's application offers features that include private messaging, tagging and a personal messaging feature, enabling users to share videos, jokes, songs and other language based social content with other unknown users.
Foundation and history
ShareChat's holding company, Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd, was incorporated in January 2015 by three IIT Kanpur graduates — Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh and Farid Ahsan. The company is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka, and presently employs over 400 people.
Initially, ShareChat primarily worked as a content sharing platform, without any scope of users generating their own content. In April 2016, ShareChat enabled user-generated content creation on its platform, allowing its users to share their own posters and creative content. At around the same time, it also introduced open tagging for users, which would allow anyone to create their own hashtags depending on the content.
The key people at the hierarchy of ShareChat include Ankush Sachdeva (co-founder and Chief Executive Officer), Farid Ahsan (co-founder and Chief Operating Officer), Bhanu Pratap Singh (co-founder and Chief Technical Officer), and Debdoot Mukherjee (Vice President - Data Science). All of the co-founders featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30 Asia 2018, having been recognized for their work with language-first approach in the social media landscape.
In the wake of the ban on TikTok by the Indian government in June 2020, ShareChat launched the similar Moj app and grew substantially. In September 2020, ShareChat raised $40 million from investors Dr. Pawan Munjal of Hero MotoCorp, Ajay Shridhar Shriram of DCM Shriram, Twitter, SAIF Partners, Lightspeed Ventures and India Quotient. By April 2021 ShareChat had raised $500 million from investors and was valued at over $2 billion.
In March 2019, Mohalla Tech acquired Transversal Tech-owned short video sharing platform, Clip. In February 2020, it acquired Bengaluru-based online fashion marketplace Elanic. In March 2020, it acquired a meme discovery and sharing platform, Memer. In August 2020, it acquired a hyperlocal information platform, Circle Internet.
Initiatives against misinformation
On April 17, 2019, ShareChat took down around half a million pieces of content and removed 54,000 accounts for spreading fake news, hate speech, spam and conducting coordinated misinformation campaign.
Layoff and re-hire
ShareChat laid off 101 employees or a quarter of its employees in May 2020. Ankush Sachdeva said "We have to focus on our core product and feed recommendation driven growth levers while scaling back on the others. We need to go back to our fundamentals in terms of only picking bets that move the needle for growth."
ShareChat has rehired over 50% of the laid-off workforce with the success of its newly launched short video platform, Moj. It is also expected to hire 150-200 more people by March 2021
ShareChat itself is a competitor to Helo, another social media platform that was owned by TikTok's parent company, Bytedance. However, Bytedance has been accused by ShareChat of copying its design and UI pixel to pixel in 2018. Following Delhi High Court's direction, Bytedance changed its design for Helo
In a tweet, Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and CEO of ShareChat, said the app was coded in 30 hours. It has received Google Play Best of 2020 Awards, as of 1 December 2020.
Moj today has emerged as India's number one short video app with the highest monthly active users. It has over 160 million monthly active users. In a recent feature by TechCrunch, Moj was positioned as #1 short video platform in India, beating others like MX TakaTak, Josh and Roposo.
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