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Tuesday,03-August-2021

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ShareChat and Moj raise Rs 3,726 cr, join unicorn club

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Mohalla Tech, the parent company of leading short video app Moj and vernacular social media platform ShareChat, on Thursday said it has raised $502 million (about Rs 3,726 crore) in its Series E funding round, taking the valuation to a little over $2.1 billion.

The latest investment round was led by Lightspeed Ventures and Tiger Global, along with participation from Snap, Twitter and India Quotient and others.

Founded in 2015, Mohalla Tech has successfully raised over $766 million across six fundraising rounds, enabling ShareChat to substantially grow and differentiate itself by delivering a unique, tech-led social media experience.

Moj, which was launched in July last year, has made huge strides towards leadership in the short video space.

Moj and ShareChat together have a 280 million-strong user community, according to the company.

“With ShareChat and Moj, we are well-positioned to build the largest AI-powered content ecosystem in India,” said Ankush Sachdeva, CEO and Co-founder, ShareChat.

The company said the new funds will be utilised for doubling down on tech initiatives, supporting user growth, and improving platform safety features.

“With this infusion of capital, we would continue to aggressively grow our user base, build a world-class org in India and US and further strengthen our creator community, AI-powered recommendation engine and platform health,” Sachdeva added.

With over 120 million monthly active users, Moj has emerged as India’s leading short video destination.

ShareChat is also a leading Indian social media platform, with over 160 million monthly active users, that allows users to share their opinions, record their lives and make new friends.

“Moj is well-positioned to seize the opportunity presented by the growth of short video in India,” said Scott Shleifer, Partner at Tiger Global.

“ShareChat’s rise to market leadership in India’s social media category has been an accelerating journey involving category creation, world-class team building and product-led growth,” added Dev Khare, Partner, Lightspeed India.

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Business

Essar Oil UK announces appointment of Chief Executive Officer

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The Board of Directors of Essar Oil (UK) Limited on Monday announced the appointment of Deepak Maheshwari as its Chief Executive Officer.

EOUK’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex is a key strategic national facility, annually producing over 16 per cent of the UK’s road transport fuels.

Maheshwari joins EOUK at a transformative juncture as it accelerates its transition to a ‘Low Carbon Energy Provider’ of the future.

As CEO, Maheshwari will work closely with the EOUK Board on the delivery of a number of strategic energy transition projects which are aimed at making Stanlow a green refinery to meet the post-carbon needs of a progressive UK.

Amongst these are HyNet (a low carbon hydrogen energy and carbon capture project) which will transform the North West of England and North Wales into one of the world’s first low carbon industrial clusters, together with the building of a Biofuels business which will include production of both renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

With more than 25 years’ senior leadership experience, across the utilities, energy, and infrastructure sectors in Europe and Asia, Maheshwari will lead an experienced management team and further strengthen corporate governance within the ESG framework.

Most recently, Deepak was CFO and Head of Strategy at Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, India’s largest commercial multi-port operator. He was previously CFO of Essar Energy Limited.

EOUK Chairman, Prashant Ruia, said: “We are delighted to welcome Deepak to EOUK. His immense corporate experience will prove invaluable during such an important period of growth for the company, which is aiming to be a leading player in the transition towards a sustainable society by delivering cleaner energy solutions.”

“I am delighted to be joining EOUK as Chief Executive Officer and look forward to building on the impressive legacy that Essar colleagues have created. The UK’s green economy continues to develop and flourish and the Board and I will work hard to ensure EOUK sits at the fulcrum of the UK’s sustainable, low carbon future.”

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Odisha records 54% growth in GST collection in July

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Odisha recorded 54 per cent growth in Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in July as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, officials said on Monday.

According to an official statement issued by the office of the state GST commissioner, Odisha collected GST worth Rs 3,615 crore in July 2021 as against Rs 2,348 crore collected in July last year.

This growth rate of GST in Odisha is the second highest among all major states in India after Maharashtra, the statement said.

GST collection till July end of this financial year is Rs 13,661 crore, as against Rs 7,540 crore collected till July last year, thereby recording a growth of 81 per cent.

The state collected Rs 927 crore in CGST, Rs 1,028 crore in IGST and Rs 592 crore in cess in July. Moreover, the total collection of VAT (petrol and liquor) was Rs 824.53 crore in July as against Rs 611.36 crore collected in July 2020, recording a growth of 34.86 per cent.

The revenue collection from liquor recorded a growth of 36.36 per cent, officials said.

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Business

Will Goa resume mining? Industry dependents seek clarity

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Days after the Goa assembly passed the Goa Mineral Development Corporation Bill 2021, paving way for setting up of the body to revive mining in the state, the Goa Mining People’s Front, an umbrella organisation for mining dependents in the state on Monday demanded a timeline for resumption of mining activity.

The Front, a collective of now-unemployed mining industry workers and owners of businesses linked to the industry, has also said that the bill passed in the state assembly to form the Corporation had no roadmap for revival of mining.

“There is transparency required on how this is going to enable early resumption of mining in Goa and restore the livelihood lost which is more vital in current circumstances. The bill does not spell out any intent about protecting the interest of local people by creating employment,” a statement issued by the Front’s president Puti Gaonkar said.

“The current bill does not mention about induction of workers or trucks directly by corporation so the interest of local people does not form a part of the bill. Goans have faced a lot of hardships because of repeated bans on mining in the last one decade and are now looking for stable and sustainable livelihoods,” the statement said.

Mining activity in Goa was banned by the apex court first in 2012, following the unearthing of a Rs 35,000 crore scam by a judicial commission appointed by the central government. But was resumed in 2015 with restrictions, before it stopped again after the apex court found irregularities in renewal of 88 mining leases and stopped all ore extraction activity from March 2018.

According to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, forming the Corporation would enable the state government to fast-track resumption of mining activity in the state.

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