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Google and Twitter-backed ShareChat’s co-founders Bhanu Pratap Singh and Farid Ahsan have stepped down from executive roles at the company, the firm’s chief executive officer Ankush Sachdeva said in an internal note on Wednesday.
This comes a week after Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd, the parent company of homegrown video-sharing platforms ShareChat and Moj, laid off 20 per cent of its workforce, comprising around 500 employees.
“After nearly eight years of building ShareChat to unicorn status and beyond, Bhanu (Pratap Singh) and Farid (Ahsan) have chosen to step down from their active roles in the company. ShareChat would not be today the company it is, without their contributions,” said a ShareChat spokesperson. “They will continue to be a part of the ShareChat family with both Bhanu and Farid remaining on the board. In recent years, the company has built a strong leadership team and many of the responsibilities held by Bhanu and Farid will now rest with Manohar Singh Charan and Gaurav Bhatia who will lead the management and engineering roles respectively,” the spokesperson added.
Investors in ShareChat include Temasek, Google, Tiger Global, Snap, Twitter, Lightspeed, SAIF Partners (now Elevation Capital), and industry leaders like Pawan Munjal and Ajay Shridhar Shriram. It is currently valued at $5 billion and has a workforce of around 2,200.
Last year in June, ShareChat closed a multi-tranche funding round to raise a total of $520 million at a valuation of $5 billion. In the final tranche, ShareChat had Google and Times Group as new investors. Temasek participated again, adding $255 million. In the first part of the round in December 2021, ShareChat raised $266 million from Alkeon Capital, Temasek, HarbourVest, Moore Strategic Ventures, and India Quotient.
ShareChat, which was valued at $1 billion in 2021 to give it unicorn status, collectively raised $913 million that year. It was the highest funding among all companies that became unicorns in 2021.
The firm shut down its fantasy gaming platform Jeet11 in early December last year. It laid off 5 per cent of its workforce. Last year the company said that as capital becomes expensive, companies need to prioritise their bets and invest in the highest-impact projects only. It had said that the decision to reduce employee costs was taken after much deliberation. It said this was done in light of the growing market consensus that investor sentiment will remain cautious throughout the year.
ShareChat (Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd) is India’s largest homegrown social media company, with over 400 million MAUs (monthly active users) across all its platforms. Founded in 2015 by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh, and Farid Ahsan, ShareChat has social media brands such as ShareChat App and Moj under its portfolio. Today ShareChat App has over 180 million monthly active users spread across the country. Launched in July 2020, Moj is the largest Indian short video platform with close to 300 million Indians consuming content each month on the app.
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First Published: Wed, January 25 2023. 22:50 IST