Snapchat’s looking to maintain a connection with the emerging Indian market by investing in local social platform ShareChat, which already counts Twitter among its shareholders.
As reported by TechCrunch, ShareChat is in the advanced stages of talks to raise a new funding round, which will include Snap Inc. and Google, along with several existing investors. Google will reportedly be taking on the majority of the new investment, further boosting its focus on the Indian market, while Snapchat will be looking to establish new roots in the Indian tech sector, which is set to see explosive growth as the country gradually emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As technology adoption grows in India, all of the US tech giants are working to gain a foothold in the region, and tap into the potential of the nation’s 1.4 billion citizens.
Facebook and Google have both made significant investments in the Indian market, with Facebook putting $5.7 billion in local internet provider Jio last year (of which Google also owns a 7.73% stake). Facebook has also sought to build on its presence in the region by filling the gap left by the local ban on TikTok. Facebook launched Instagram’s Reels in India before it was launched anywhere else, and the option is reportedly gaining traction with Indian users. TikTok had over 200 million Indian users at the time of its banning last June.
Given the potential audience reach at stake, it makes sense for more platforms to focus on the Indian market, and as the region looks to recover following the COVID-19 pandemic, tech adoption will undoubtedly increase, with eCommerce, in particular, set to become a major focus moving forward.
As such, it also makes sense for both Snapchat and Twitter to look for ways to stay in touch and ensure that they too have a stake in the region. According to TechCrunch, ShareChat sees significant usage in small Indian cities and towns, while Twitter and Snapchat have struggled to gain users beyond the nation’s urban centers.
How, exactly, this new investment will play out in terms of Twitter and Snap having an influence or impact on ShareChat is impossible to say, but the main point is that it will give both companies another way to link into the Indian market, which could help them keep their options open for future expansion. They’d still, seemingly, be a way behind Facebook and Google in this respect, but again, at 1.4 billion people, the potential of the market is too huge to ignore – and again, tech adoption looks set to explode in the region as part of their recovery process.
Expect to see a lot more tech investment, and development, in India in the coming months.