ShareChat Acquires Hyperlocal Information App Circle Internet; Latter to Function Independently

Circle Internet app provides locally relevant news and information to Indian language internet users in tier-II and tier-III cities in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala

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Homegrown social networking platform ShareChat on Monday announced that it has acquired Circle Internet, a hyperlocal information platform, for an undisclosed amount.

ShareChat

Founded in 2018 by Uchit Kumar, Gaurav Agrawal, Shashank Shekhar, Circle Internet through its mobile application provides locally relevant news and information to Indian language internet users in tier-II and tier-III cities. It has a network of over 1,000 volunteers and is currently present in over 120 districts in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala.

About 20 lakh hyperlocal content pieces have been created on Circle Internet since its inception, contributed by both users and verified creators, the company said in a statement.

The 15-member team of the Bengaluru-based startup will join ShareChat to contribute towards building a language-first, community-driven user generated hyperlocal content ecosystem, the company said.

"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," said Manohar Charan, Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Finance, ShareChat. "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."

However, Circle Internet's app will continue to function independently.

"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," Charan said.

Shashank Shekhar, CEO and co-founder of Circle Internet said 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.

"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.

ShareChat has about 13 crore monthly active users and offers content in 15 Indian languages. The regional content platform is building its own short-video sharing app Moj vying for a place in the space which has been up for grabs post the government's ban on TikTok along with 58 other Chinese apps.