Xiaomi to invest in local social networking app ShareChat; expected to raise $15 million

This Bengaluru-based startup is focuses on conversation in the vernacular language. Founded by 25 year old IIT graduate, Farid Ahsan, ShareChat intends to capture userbase from smaller cities and rural India.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi and its venture capital firm, Shunwei Capital, are expected to raise $15 million for a local social networking app called ShareChat.

Xiaomi. Reuters.

Xiaomi. Reuters.

This Bengaluru-based startup is focused on conversation in the vernacular language. According to a report by the Times of India, the startup intends to raise the investment up to $65 to $70 million dollars. The company wants to add more languages. Currently, it caters to only 10 regional languages. In fact according to the report, English as a language option is missing.

Founded by 25-year-old IIT graduate, Farid Ahsan, ShareChat intends to capture userbase from smaller cities and rural India. The app claims to have 1.3 million daily active users and 4.2 million monthly active users

He further added, “This is a young and aspirational set of population which is coming on the internet now, on the back of cheap smartphones and easy availability of mobile data. They are very different from people in the big cities who have been using emails and social media for almost a decade. We want to cater to this fast-growing group of users.”

Both the companies have inked the deal, however, they are yet to close it formally. It is currently available on the Google Play Store and is said to have been downloaded 10 million times.

The app which seems to be at a nascent stage, may refine its products with the investment. It is not known whether the app will come pre-loaded in its smartphone.

Previously, Xiaomi had led a $25 million investment into digital media entertainment company Hungama. The entertainment company has reportedly over 8000 movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi and six other Indian regional languages on its platform and has built partnerships with over 700 content creators as well.

Meanwhile, to increase its offline sales as well, Xiaomi has opened branded outlets in India.




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