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

Twitter recently negotiated 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 create a global rival for Tiktok, in this case Three sources familiar told ClearTips.

Sources said the US firm, already an investor in Bangalore-based Sharechat, offered to buy the Indian startup for $ 1.1 billion and invested an additional $ 900 million.

The conversation is no longer going on, with two sources saying anonymity has been requested as the matter is private. ClearTips could not determine why the negotiations did not result in a deal.

Two sources said that Twitter had intended to take Moj, a short-form video app owned by the stock market, which is in international markets and ranks it as a rival to the 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 hand at short-form video format.

Moj, already with more than 80 million users, has emerged as one of the biggest players in the category. Earlier this month, Snap struck a deal with ShareChat to integrate its camera kit into an Indian short video app. This is the first time Snap has formed such a partnership with a firm in India.

With the buyout offer no longer entertained, Sharechat has resumed negotiations with other investors for its new financing round. These investors include Google, Snap, as well as Tinder-parent firm Match Group.

ClearTips reported in January that the Indian startup was in talks with Google and Snap as well as some existing investors including Twitter to raise more than $ 200 million. A possible takeover by Twitter prolonged investment negotiations.

Sharechat, which is claimed to have more than 160 million users, offers its social network app in 15 Indian languages ​​and has a large number in small Indian cities and towns, or Blue Ventures capitalist Sajith Pai “Bharat2.” ” Refer to as. Very few players in the Indian startup ecosystem have access to this segment of the population thanks to users from small towns and villages known as “Bharat 3” – who have gone online in recent years.

Sharechat co-founder and chief executive Ankush Sachdeva said in an interview with ClearTips last year that the startup’s marquee app was growing “fast” and users were spending more than 30 minutes on service on average.

Twitter itself has struggled to build inroads outside large cities and towns in India. According to mobile insight firm AppAnnie, its apps reached around 75 million users in the country in the month of January, one of which the industry executive shared with ClearTips. It struck a deal with news and social app Dailyhunt – instant news and tweets related to other local events – on the Google-backed Indian app.

The US social network has broadened its product offering over the past year amid pressure from activist investors to accelerate growth.

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