ShareChat meets Sher Khan

Good night,

Ten Indian startups have grow to be unicorns this 12 months, together with six in simply the previous week. To put issues into context, 11 unicorns had been born in India in all of 2020. Any guesses what number of extra we’ll see by the top of this 12 months?

GIF Credit: Tenor

Also on this letter:

📱Why Gupshup raised cash after 10 years
đź›’Amazon India touts job creation
🎨NFTs and crypto artwork in India

1. ShareChat raises $502 million from Tiger and others


The Tiger is on the prowl once more. In the previous two days, it has performed a significant function in minting three unicorns — Groww, Sharechat and Gupshup. This comes on the heels of the New York-based funding agency elevating its 13th and largest global fund of $6.65 billion. Let’s speak about ShareChat first.

Driving the information: Regional language social media platform ShareChat has raised $502 million funding led by Tiger Global and participation from Lightspeed, Snap, and Twitter at a valuation of $2.1 billion. ShareChat has raised about $765 million so far.

  • The firm claims to have 160 million month-to-month energetic customers and is obtainable in 15 native languages together with Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, and Assamese.

Moj launch: Last 12 months the corporate forayed into brief video with Moj, becoming a member of a dozen or extra new gamers that entered India’s short-video market after TikTookay was suspended final June. Other outstanding gamers embrace Instagram Reels, Times Internet’s MX TakaTak, YouTube Shorts, Dailyhunt’s Josh, and InMobi’s Roposo. (Disclosure: Times Internet owns ETtech). Moj claims to have scaled as much as 120 million month-to-month energetic customers in 9 months.

Quote: “We believe social graphs are not a necessity to rank and personalise public content. On both ShareChat & Moj, the content consumption is driven through an AI-powered content feed,” ShareChat chief govt Ankush Sachdeva stated in a Medium publish.

Also learn:

Other key offers of the day

  • Car reseller platform Spinny has raised $65 million in a mixture of major and secondary funding, led by enterprise capital agency General Catalyst (an early backer of Snap), Airbnb and Stripe.

  • Homegrown personal fairness fund ChrysCapital has acquired about 35% stake in private care model Wow Skin Science for Rs 370 crore ($50 million). The deal values the corporate at Rs 900 crore.

2. Gupshup lands $100 million


Hi, Vikas SN right here. Conversational messaging platform Gupshup grew to become the newest startup to affix India’s quickly increasing unicorn membership that already crossed 10 members at the moment. It raised $100 million from Tiger Global at a valuation of $1.Four billion.

I do know what you’re most likely considering. Yet one other funding announcement of a unicorn. But what makes this story attention-grabbing is that Gupshup final raised capital a decade in the past, in 2011. That looks like eons in the past within the fast-paced tech and startup business, the place it isn’t stunning for a corporation to see a number of funding rounds in a single 12 months. Flipkart did this in 2017 and Byju’s did it final 12 months.

You may bear in mind Gupshup for its group textual content messaging service within the early and mid-2010s, nevertheless, it later pivoted to being an enterprise messaging platform, offering buyer and model engagement options for builders and huge companies throughout numerous sectors.

Beerud Sheth

So I spoke to Gupshup co-founder Beerudh Sheth on why they raised cash after 10 lengthy years and received his tackle the unicorn valuations. Here are some excerpts:

On elevating capital: “We haven’t needed the capital so far. Many of the recent tech companies have been raising money very rapidly and quickly, partly because their businesses are unprofitable and they really need extra capital to grow, otherwise they can’t survive. We’ve however run our business very prudently and profitably for a long time.”

So why now? “The pandemic has accelerated a lot of digital transformation, due to which our business has grown dramatically. We also see a massive market opportunity around messaging and conversations. We believe it is as big as the web was in the mid-90s, which created multiple giant companies.”

“For opportunity of that scale, we really need to be more aggressive with our investments, be it expand globally or build out more products. To do this, we wanted to get more capital, and scale up very rapidly. It also enables us to explore potential acquisitions. I’m sure we will also look at a public listing down the road.”

Prunicorns? “I was recently talking to someone and was amused to hear this term. So there are, of course, unicorn valuations. And then there are prunicorns — profitable unicorns — which are even rarer than unicorns. A lot of companies get these (unicorn) valuations but sometimes if they don’t eventually become profitable then those valuations can also disappear as we’ve seen before.”

More capital incoming: Sheth stated this financing is a component of a bigger spherical, with extra traders anticipated to affix later, which might present an exit to some present traders. Gupshup has raised a complete of $150 million so far and counts CRV, Globespan Capital Partners and Helion Ventures amongst its backers.

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3. Amazon creates Three lakh jobs in India in 12 months


Amazon stated it has created three lakh new jobs in India over the previous 12 months. This is one-third of the variety of jobs that its founder Jeff Bezos had dedicated to realize by 2025 when he visited India in January final 12 months.

Amazon stated it additionally facilitated exports price $1 billion from India over the previous 12 months, bringing the entire cumulative exports from the nation to $Three billion. Last 12 months, Bezos had dedicated to exporting items price $10 billion from the nation by 2025.

Amazon India nation head Amit Agarwal stated the e-commerce large has additionally digitised 2.5 million small companies thus far. It plans to convey 10 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by 2025.

4. The standing and way forward for NFTs and crypto artwork in India

NFTs (Non-Fungible Assets)are a key instance of the kind of innovation crypto-assets and public blockchains can result in, which is why the blockchain and crypto-asset ecosystem ought to be inspired in India, write Nishith Desai Associates leaders Jaideep Reddy, Meyyappan N and Vaibhav Parikh in a column for ETtech.

They additionally contact upon dealing in NFTs in India, how cross-border transactions would work beneath the nation’s legal guidelines, what mental property points might emerge with NFTs, and the way they might be taxed. Read the column here.

5. Byju’s set to go international with Future School

Edtech large Byju’s is making its biggest international push with its new product Byju’s Future School within the US, UK, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico subsequent month.

Details: The product can be headed by WhiteHatJr founder Karan Bajaj and can initially provide maths and coding tutorials. It can be expanded later to incorporate science, music, English and fantastic arts courses.

Languages: About 11,000 ladies academics from India will cater to college students in English-speaking markets and the corporate will look to rent academics in Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia to cater to non-English-speaking college students. The coding curriculum will even be made accessible in Spanish and Portuguese.

  • WhiteHatJr will now be folded into the Byju’s Future School model. The platform is clocking a mean 20,000 reside classes per day taught by over 7,000 academics, whereas the variety of courses on the weekends doubles to 40,000, Bajaj stated.

Last week, Byju’s acquired offline tutorial chain Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) in a cash and stock deal estimated at $950 million, its largest acquisition so far.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 was curated by Vikas SN in Bengaluru and Apoorva Mittal in Mumbai.


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