Sharechat on Monday said it has acquired Bengaluru-based Circle Internet for an undisclosed amount, a move that will help the homegrown social media app strengthen hyperlocal content on its platform. Circle Internet was launched in 2018 by Uchit Kumar, Gaurav Agrawal and Shashank Shekhar (a former ShareChat executive).
Backed by SAIF Partners and Venture Highway, Circle Internet provides locally relevant information to Indian language internet users across tier-II and -III cities and currently has a presence in more than 120 districts across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala.
Over two million hyperlocal content pieces have been created on the platform since inception, contributed by both users and verified creators.
With the acquisition of Circle's business, the existing 15-member team has joined ShareChat and will be contributing towards building a language-first, community-driven user generated hyperlocal content ecosystem, a statement said.
The platform brings a network of over 1,000 volunteers to contribute towards the hyperlocal content ecosystem, it added.
"ShareChat is growing faster than the industry, and we are investing in our capabilities to serve diverse content needs of the new users that we add to the platform," ShareChat Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Finance, Manohar Charan said.
"The acquisition will help us penetrate deeper into geographies and nurture a thriving hyperlocal content ecosystem that will understand and serve the latent content needs of the next billion internet users more effectively," he explained.
Charan further said Circle Internet's hyperlocal expansion playbook complements ShareChat's wide user base to create a strategic advantage and enhance its operational muscles to boost a community-powered content ecosystem.
"Circle App will continue to grow independently and empower our users to post more relevant and contextual content on the platform. Circle content can be further leveraged to diversify the content palette at ShareChat, and drive more community-driven engagements," he said.
Circle Internet CEO and co-founder Shashank Shekhar said, "Circle was started with a vision to provide trustworthy locally relevant information to Indian language internet users. The platform evolved as an invisible thread to bridge the gaps in content being made available to non-English speaking internet users, through relevant and contextual hyperlocal content."
With the help of ShareChat's wide reach, expertise in language-first approach, powerful content serving algorithms, Circle will soon be reaching out to the majority of the districts across India, he added.
"I am doubly excited to start my second innings at ShareChat," he said.
Shekhar, who headed content operations at the Bengaluru-based social media company before starting Circle, will head the overall content strategy for ShareChat in his latest innings.
ShareChat has over 130 million monthly active users and is available in 15 Indic languages.