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Twitter explored buying India’s ShareChat and turning Moj into a global TikTok rival – TechCrunch

Twitter lately held talks to amass Indian social media startup ShareChat as the corporate explored methods to broaden its presence on this planet’s second largest web market and construct a global rival to TikTok, three sources accustomed to the matter instructed TechCrunch.

The American agency, which is already an investor in Bangalore-based ShareChat, supplied to purchase the Indian startup for $1.1 billion and had dedicated an extra funding of $900 million, two of the sources mentioned.

The talks are now not ongoing, two sources mentioned, requesting anonymity because the matter is non-public. TechCrunch couldn’t decide why the talks didn’t materialize into a deal.

Two sources mentioned Twitter had expressed intention to take Moj, a short-form video app that ShareChat owns, to worldwide markets and place it as a rival to Chinese app TikTok.

Twitter declined to remark and ShareChat didn’t reply to a request for remark.

India’s ban on TikTok final 12 months prompted scores of native startups and worldwide giants to strive their palms at short-form video format.

Moj, with over 80 million customers already, has emerged as one of many largest gamers within the class. Earlier this month, Snap inked a cope with ShareChat to combine its Camera Kit into the Indian quick video app. This is the primary time Snap had shaped a partnership of this type with a agency in India.

With the buyout provide now not being entertained, ShareChat has resumed talks with different traders for its new financing spherical. These traders embrace Google, Snap, in addition to Tinder-parent agency Match Group, the sources mentioned.

TechCrunch reported in January that the Indian startup was speaking to Google and Snap in addition to some current traders together with Twitter to boost over $200 million. A possible acquisition by Twitter extended the funding talks.

ShareChat, which claims to have over 160 million customers, provides its social community app in 15 Indian languages and has a massive following in small Indian cities and cities, or what enterprise capitalist Sajith Pai of Blume Ventures refer as “India 2.” Very few gamers within the Indian startup ecosystem have a attain to this section of this inhabitants, which because of customers from even smaller cities and villages — known as “India 3” — getting on-line has expanded lately.

In an interview with TechCrunch final 12 months, Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and chief government of ShareChat, mentioned the startup’s marquee app was rising “exponentially” and that customers have been spending, on a mean, greater than half-hour a day on the service.

Twitter, itself, has struggled to make inroads exterior of larger cities and cities in India. Its app reached about 75 million customers within the nation within the month of January, in response to cellular perception agency AppAnnie, information of which an trade government shared with TechCrunch. It inked a cope with news and social app Dailyhunt to carry Moments — curated tweets pertaining to news and different native occasions — to the Google-backed Indian app.

The American social community has broadened its product providing up to now 12 months amid stress from activist traders to speed up progress.

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