ShareChat acquires hyperlocal information platform Circle Internet1 min read . Updated: 24 Aug 2020, 11:26 AM IST
- Circle Internet will be allowed to function independently, though its existing 15-member team will join ShareChat's team
- ShareChat says Circle Internet will contribute to building a language-first, community-driven user-generated hyperlocal content
Homegrown social media platform ShareChat has acquired hyperlocal information platform Circle Internet. The app provides local information to Indian language internet users in tier-II and tier-III cities, with presence in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala right now. It has a network of over 1,000 volunteers, the company said in its announcement.
The app will be allowed to function independently, though its existing 15-member team will join ShareChat’s team. The company says it will contribute to building a “language-first, community-driven user-generated hyperlocal content ecosystem".
The Twitter-backed social media platform has been building its own short-video app, called Moj, since the Indian government banned Bytedance-owned TikTok and Helo in India. ShareChat itself is also a social network aimed at users in tier-II and tier-III cities, and the company could use information from Circle to enrich the content on both platforms.
“Circle App will continue to grow independently and empower our users to post more relevant and contextual content on the platform," said Manohar Charan, vice president of corporate development and strategic finance at ShareChat. “Circle content can be further leveraged to diversify the content palette at ShareChat, and drive more community-driven engagements," he added.
Circle chief executive and co-founder, Shashank Shekhar, also said that the company could use a “robust user-generated content strategy" to scale across India and enter other states. “With help of their wide reach, expertise in language-first approach, powerful content serving algorithms, we will soon be reaching out to the majority of districts across India," he added. Shekhar was the head of content operations at ShareChat before he began running Circle.
ShareChat currently has more than 130 million monthly active users (MAUs) and has been trying to take advantage of TikTok’s absence from India amid the government’s ban. The company was also in talks with Microsoft recently for an investment of approximately $100 million. Circle is backed by companies such as SAIF Partners and Venture Highway.