ShareChat Acquisition: What’s Google Up To?

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The news related to acquisition of ShareChat is once again making rounds on the internet.

It seems like Google has taken a shine to the Twitter-backed social media platform ShareChat and might acquire it at a valuation of $1 billion!

According to sources, the Alphabet-owned search giant is currently in advanced talks with the Indian startup in order to solidify the terms of the deal. ShareChat’s popularity has risen quite significantly among users as well as investors. Earlier, even Microsoft was reported to be gunning for a stake in the startup.

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In its last round, i.e. pre-series E, the homegrown social media platform raised a whopping $40 million at a valuation of $650 million and is backed by heavyweights such as Twitter, SAIF Partners (now called Elevation Capital), Lightspeed Ventures along with standalone Indian investors like Dr Pawan Munjal and DCM Shriram Promoters Family Office.

Now, the question that arrives here is – What’s in it for Google?

ShareChat Acquisition: All About Regional Presence

In July, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the tech giant would be spending a humongous sum of $10 billion in India as part of ‘Indian Digitization Fund’ over the course of next three years. He also mentioned that the fund would be used for accomplishing four primary goals.

First, to build new products that can provide solutions for the relevant and unique needs of India. Second, empower businesses on their journey of digital transformation. Third, leveraging technology, such as A.I. in areas such as health, education, and agriculture. Fourth, enabling affordable access to quality information in commonly prevalent Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi and so on.

If Google acquires ShareChat, it will become an incredible asset which can help the tech giant accelerate all of their four goals.

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ShareChat has built a strong presence in India in the vernacular domain. The Indian startup has a presence in over 15 Indan languages and is catering to the emerging adopters of internet connectivity in India. Thus, there is no doubt that Google would benefit massively from ShareChat’s expertise in the growth of vernacular language.

Also, quite recently, ShareChat has set up an R&D lab in Silicon valley called Sharechat Labs and brought in the former Uber product leader Gaurav Mishra to overlook the operations.

At the ShareChat lab, the Indian homegrown startup will focus on building strong artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning-driven (M.L.) capabilities for their social media platform and the short video platform they recently released called Moj.

Sharechat currently has over 130 million monthly users, while Moj been able to garner 80 million monthly users within a very short period of time. Thus, Google can leverage this humongous user base to reach out to non-English speaking internet adopters.

Now, if the deal will fructify or not is anybody’s guess right now. Neither Google nor ShareChat has disclosed any details about the progress of the deal so far. The Alphabet-owned tech giant has already invested $4.5 billion out of the 10 billion in Reliance Jio in a bid to accomplish the same goals. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.

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