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NEW DELHI: Homegrown social media apps, Sharechat and Moj, are the latest entrants to the unicorn club. Mohalla Tech, the company behind these apps, has raised $502 million in its latest funding round, led by venture firms Lightspeed Ventures and Tiger Global. American social media companies, Twitter and Snap Inc, also participated in the round.

Ankush Sachdeva, chief executive officer and co-founder of ShareChat, said the fresh funds will be used to grow the company’s user base, strengthen the creator community on its apps, and improve the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) powered recommendation engines.

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“As Internet penetration increases, ShareChat’s leading content creation platform is poised to expand dramatically by bridging into online purchases of goods and services. Additionally, Moj is well-positioned to seize the opportunity presented by the growth of short video in India," said Ravi Mhatre, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures.

Founded in 2016, the social media company has raised over $766 million over six funding rounds so far. The new round has pushed Sharechat’s valuation to over $2.1 billion. The company says it has 280 million users between the two platforms — Sharechat and Moj.

While Sharechat has been around since 2016, its short video platform, Moj, is less than a year old. Moj was launched less than two days after the Indian government banned Chinese short video platform TikTok from operating in India last year. Since then, Moj has become amongst the more popular short video platforms in India along with ad-tech company InMobi’s Roposo, news startup DailyHunt’s Josh and Times Internet-owned MX Taka Tak. The company had claimed it had over 80 million monthly active users (MAUs) in February this year. The company claimed that Sharechat has over 160 million MAUs at the moment.

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