ShareChat sets up ShareChat Labs in Silicon Valley
Indian social media company ShareChat on Thursday said it has set up 'ShareChat Labs' in Palo Alto that will focus on research and innovation in camera technology, video encoding and other areas.
The Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Palo Alto is the company's first establishment outside India. The company has also appointed former Uber executive Gaurav Mishra as its Senior Vice President Product.
"The new set-up would be dedicated to building a technology backbone for the company with an aim to bring cutting edge tech, developed by the best to its community of users," a statement said.
With the new CoE, ShareChat would be able to put greater attention on innovation and building new-age solutions powered by machine learning to enhance user experience through advanced camera capabilities, deeper visual understanding of the images/videos and stronger content recommendation, it added.
Twitter-backed ShareChat has over 160 million users across 15 Indic languages. Earlier this year, ShareChat had also launched Moj, a short-video app that has now over 80 million monthly active users.
As both ShareChat and Moj are highly dependent on user-generated content, ShareChat Labs would focus on developing state of the art deep learning ML models to better personalise the user feed and detect Not Safe for Work Content, hate speech and fake news with a goal to enhance the experience of its community of creators and users.
ShareChat puts heavy emphasis on the Indian diaspora as it functions in various local languages. This leads to challenging Machine Learning (ML) problems in content understanding because of variations in dialect, the difference in the writing script, and contextual meaning. ShareChat said it intends to solve this issue with ShareChat Labs.
ShareChat Labs will also focus on building newer technologies around AR, VR and Mixed Reality (MR), filters, stickers and editing effects.
ShareChat had recently announced raising USD 40 million in funding, taking its total funding to USD 264 million. Its investors include Twitter, Elevation Capital, Lightspeed Ventures along with Pawan Munjal and DCM Shriram Promoters Family Office.
The company said Mishra, in his new role, will oversee the product development at multiple levels for ShareChat and its short video platform, Moj.
He will focus on growing a high performing product team with expertise in consumer product and machine learning/artificial intelligence.
"This is an exciting and proud moment for us. As we set-up ShareChat Labs to develop groundbreaking technology solutions to accelerate our ambition of building the most sophisticated content creation and distribution engine, we believe the talent ecosystem available in the Valley is going to play a major role," ShareChat CEO and co-founder Ankush Sachdeva said.
On Mishra's appointment, Sachdeva said the executive is a proven product leader with over 20 years of experience in the consumer technology space.
"He will be a driving force towards strengthening content feed and personalisation, building advanced product capabilities and reinforcing the robustness of our ad-tech platform. He will be a valued member of our leadership team as we continue to build ShareChat for the next billion internet users," Sachdeva added.
Mishra had co-founded Guruji.com, a search engine in regional language that was built for India. The company was later acquired by Walmart-backed e-commerce major, Flipkart.
"We would also look at hiring the best technology minds globally and not just limited to India. We would soon expand our talent base to other international geographies and drive excellence in technology innovations in the Indian internet space," Mishra said.