ShareChat acquires Circle Internet, a hyperlocal information platform
Homegrown social networking company ShareChat on Monday announced it has acquired Circle Internet, a hyperlocal information platform, for an undisclosed sum.
With the acquisition, Circle Internet's 15-member team will join ShareChat. The team will be working towards building a community-driven user-generated hyperlocal content system.
Circle Internet was founded in 2018 by three IIT-ians Uchit Kumar, Gaurav Agrawal, and Shashank Shekhar and was backed by SAIF Partners and Venture Highway. Over two million hyperlocal content were created on the platform since inception, contributed by both users and verified creators.
Shashank Shekhar was heading content operations at ShareChat before he started Circle. He will now be heading the overall content strategy for ShareChat.
The platform had gained big traction among language-first internet users in the country. The user base belonged mainly to tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Circle Internet has a presence in 120 districts across Uttar Pradesh,
Rajasthan, and Kerala. It also has a network of over 1,000 volunteers who worked for building a hyperlocal content ecosystem.
“Circle was started with a vision to provide trustworthy locally relevant information to Indian language internet users. The platform evolved as an invisible thread to bridge the gaps in content being made available to non-English speaking internet users, through relevant and contextual hyperlocal content. As we intend to scale up across India and replicate the model in other forms of the content genre through a robust UGC strategy, we could not think of anyone better than ShareChat to partner in the journey. With the help of their wide reach, expertise in language-first approach, powerful content serving algorithms, we will soon be reaching out to the majority of the districts across India. We are really excited to be a part of ShareChat,” said Shashank Shekhar, CEO and Cofounder, Circle.
ShareChat's latest acquisition comes amid reports of the startup being in talks with Microsoft as well as Google for a potential investment.
ShareChat and many other Indian internet companies have begun to step up their game in a bid to cash in on the vacuum caused by the ban on the insanely popular TikTok. Since the ban, ShareChat and many other local platforms such as Chingari and Trell have gained huge traction. ShareChat has also launched a TikTok-like platform called Moj. According to the company, Moj has already gone past 50 million downloads on the Google Play Store.
Overall, ShareChat has more than 130 million monthly active users and serves across 15 Indic languages.