The sharechat app is a vernacular social networking platform. Three IIT- Kanpur alumni Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh, and Ankush Sachdeva launched the firm in 2015. This Bengaluru-based social app is currently serving in four different Indian languages – Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Mathari.
It was started when the company shared local content on Whatsapp; after receiving millions of share, they decided to build the free app.
Recently the company has raised $1.35 million funds led by SAIF Partners and the existing investor India Quotients. India Quotient has supported the firm with $100,000 seed round previously in February 2016.
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The app was one of the startups selected for Launchpad accelerator program by Google, this year. Sharechat claims to have more than one million downloads amongst which half are the active users. According to the firm, their user database is increasing at 10 percent rate per week.
The company will be using the funds for their technology reimbursement to serve the increasing traffic. Expansion of languages will take place with more types of content. Offering their service in more languages like Punjabi, Oriya, and Tamil by 2016 August is also in their planning list. Farid adds that the app is growing faster and stronger with every new user that is responding and creating a diverse variety in vernacular content. The platform supports quite many formats up to 55 types including jokes, newspaper, videos, stories and health tips.
Similar apps in the space include Matrubharti- a self-publishing platform, Pratilipi, Planet GoGo and Shabdanagari, India’s first Hindi social networking site.
The Bottom Line
The Indian market regarding the local language content is growing gradually in vernacular media. The internet access through smartphones has been one of the robust media to leverage technology by smaller territories across India consuming local prompt and connecting them in personalized and better way.
According to firms research out of 350 million smartphones consumers in India, 100-120 million users are comfortable and fluent in English. The remaining population would prefer their dialects over the English language for communication mode. Therefore, possesses tremendous opportunities in the space. The further report suggests that India will be targeting 850 million users that will provide even larger vernacular industry, by 2018.