ShareChat is in talks with Microsoft Corp. for an investment of around $100 million in the Indian content sharing platform, two people aware of the development said.
If the deal materializes, the Microsoft investment will be about a third of what ShareChat is looking to raise in the latest funding round, the first person said on condition of anonymity.
ShareChat is, however, likely to raise funds from existing investors before closing deals with new ones, a second person familiar with the development said. The deal might take a couple of months to close as the talks are at an early stage, this person added.
Microsoft’s interest in ShareChat comes at a time when the tech giant is negotiating the purchase of video-sharing app TikTok’s operations in the US and a few other markets from China’s ByteDance.
Microsoft is now also looking to acquire TikTok’s services in India and Europe, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing unidentified people. The US company initially said that it is in talks to acquire TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The FT report, however, said that the talks are at a very preliminary stage.
If the Microsoft deal doesn’t work, then Bytedance could sell the India business to “foreign investors or Indian buyers”, the report said.
Interestingly, ShareChat launched its Moj video-sharing service just a day after the Indian government banned TikTok. Helo, another app owned by Bytedance, competes with ShareChat.
Microsoft declined requests for comments, while ShareChat didn’t respond to Mint’s queries.
ShareChat had last raised $100 million from Twitter, which pegged the valuation of the startup at $650 million.