Twitter debuts in India with ShareChat

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Twitter has led a US$100 million round of funding in Mohalla Tech (ShareChat) in its maiden investment in India.

“Twitter doesn’t really invest too much, so this is a rare occurrence,” said a lawyer familiar with the deal. “They had a lot of India law questions relating to foreign investment generally, as well as in the sector. India is an emerging jurisdiction in the context of data privacy and data protection, and you have a data protection bill that is yet to come into effect. So, there were certain nuances relating to that, which apply to any e-commerce business including a business like ShareChat.”

This is the second US$100 million fundraising by Bengaluru-based social networking site ShareChat in less than a year. The company raised about US$224 million in total and plans to strengthen the technology infrastructure for its platform as it scales up its business.

ShareChat has successfully tapped India’s regional markets, offering its services in Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Odia, Kannada, Assamese, Haryanvi, Rajasthani and Bhojpuri.

Other investors involved in the series D primary investment include Trustbridge Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Shunwei Capital, Hill House, Morningside Venture Capital, India Quotient and SAIF Capital.

Khaitan & Co advised Twitter on the deal. The team consisted of partner Sharad Moudgal, senior associate BN Vivek and associates Kamna Kumar and Srishti Ramkrishnan.

A team from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in Singapore, led by counsel Parveet Singh Gandoak, also advised Twitter. Link Legal India Law Services advised ShareChat. The team comprised partner Manish Gupta, principal associate Vinu Peter, associate Rashi Singh and company secretary Vivek Tiwari.