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Exclusive: Clip Gets Acquired By ShareChat In All Cash Deal To Help It Fight Off ByteDance In India

Exclusive: Clip Gets Acquired By ShareChat In All Cash Deal To Help It Fight Off ByteDance In India

Owned by Transversal Tech, Clip will be integrated with ShareChat

Clip is backed by Matrix Partners India, Shunwei Capital, and India Quotient

Clip & Sharechat were among the 42 most innovative Indian startups in Inc42’s 42Next list

As the fight in the short video app market gets hotter, Mohalla Tech, the parent company of Bengaluru-based vernacular social and content platform ShareChat has acquired Transversal Tech-owned video sharing app Clip.

Transversal Tech has just sold off its first product Clip to ShareChat and will continue to work independently post-acquisition. According to Inc42 sources, following the deal Transversal will be building its next product in the social media domain.

ShareChat will integrate the Clip app into its product as it looks to grow and strengthen its presence in the deeper competitive market. Post-acquisition, existing Clip users will be integrated into ShareChat. The Clip app is already under beta-process to enable such integration and will be notifying its users soon.

On reaching out, Clip declined to comment on the development. Inc42 also reached out to ShareChat, the story will be updated as and when we get their response.

Clip App: 11 Languages, 10 Mn+ Active Users

Founded in March 2017 by Nav Agrawal, Ashish Gupta, and Swapnil Upadhyay, the Clip app allows users to create and edit videos. The app enables users to chat, create and share videos selfies, and 60-second video clips.

Clip, which is among the Inc42’s India’s most innovative startups list of 2018 — 42Next, has enabled multiple languages on its platform including — Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu, Malayalam, Punjabi and English.

With more than 10 Mn active users, it has a repository of over 50 Mn user-generated videos with 400 average views on each video. Transversal Tech has raised $7 Mn till date from investors like Matrix Partners India, Shunwei Capital, and India Quotient.

In August 2018, Clip had also acquired a vernacular crowdsourced discovery platform Clorik for an undisclosed amount.

Clip’s competitors include players such as Shunwei Capital-backed ShareChat, India Quotient-backed Lokal, and Tiger Global-backed Roposo. The competition grew further when Chinese company ByteDance entered India with its apps like TikTok and Helo which have garnered millions of Indian users in a short span of time.

ShareChat: The Posterboy Of The Indian Social Networking Space

Founded by IIT-Kanpur alumni, Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh and Ankush Sachdeva, in October 2015, ShareChat allows users to create, discover, and share content with each other. It also has features like anonymous chat, direct messaging, original video content under the banner of ShareChat Talkies.

Accessible in 14 regional languages, ShareChat’s strength has been its popularity in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The company has seen daily active users increase from 5 Mn in April-May, 2018 to over 8 Mn by the end of 2018.

Till date, the company has raised $122 Mn, with last being a close to $100 Mn (INR 720 Cr) funding round that was reported to boost its valuation to $460 Mn (INR 3,332 Cr).

In a bid to clean up pornographic and violent content from its platform, recently, ShareChat banned 50K profiles, encouraging users to identify and report problematic content. Problematic content can be reported in categories such as porn, violence, fake news, hate speech, spam, impersonation and so on.

The Dizzying Growth Of Chinese Apps

Chief among the Chinese social media apps is ByteDance-owned TikTok, which enjoys a huge fanbase among smaller towns and villages in India. Helo, another ByteDance app has meanwhile roped in celebrities such as Ranveer Singh for brand endorsements in India.

To understand their growth, here are some numbers:

  • 39% of TikTok’s 500 Mn global users are from India, mostly between the ages of 16 to 24 years.
  • Another Chinese app, Like, which was the third-most downloaded app in India in 2018, counts 64% of its users as Indian

At present, the fierce growth of these apps has left government bodies uneasy. Refusing to budge from its tough stand on social media, the Indian government has raised concerns around content and privacy policies rules of the social media companies.

The Indian government is looking to make the intermediaries (social media platforms, OTTs) more responsible for fake news, hate speech, nudity, from being shared across their platforms, and has introduced draft guidelines as part of Section 79 of the IT Act.

The new rules may also direct the Chinese apps to store their data on Indian citizens within the country, rather than routing it back to China. But it is unsure if these regulations can help the existing Indian players ramp up their game against these heavily funded and global companies.

Clip and ShareChat were part of the 2018 edition of the most coveted list of India’s most innovative startups — 42Next by Inc42.