Microsoft is in talks to invest in India’s ShareChat
Microsoft is in talks with Indian social media platform ShareChat for an investment of around $100 million, according to reports. Sources in the know have told Mint that if the deal materialises then Microsoft's investment will be a third of what ShareChat was looking to raise in its latest funding round.
However, it is likely that Sharechat will raise funds from existing investors before closing deals with new ones, another source said. This deal with Microsoft might take a few months to close and the talks are in very early stages, sources said.
Microsoft is currently negotiating the purchase of TikTok's operations in the US and a few other markets from Chinese company ByteDance and reports have it that Microsoft might also be looking at acquiring TikTok's India market and the European market.
While the news about Microsoft looking into the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations of TikTok are confirmed, reports about the Indian and the European markets are reported to be very preliminary.
A Financial Times report says that if Microsoft's deal does not work out then ByteDance might sell the India business to other foreign investors or Indian buyers.
Microsoft's interest in ShareChat while negotiations with TikTok/ByteDance are still on is all the more interesting since ShareChat has a TikTok rival too. ShareChat's Moj, a video-sharing service, was launched just a day after the Indian government banned TikTok in the country. ByteDance's Helo also competes with ShareChat.
Neither Microsoft nor ShareChat have commented on this yet.