Funding for Indian startups continues unabated amid rising consumer appetite for tech-powered products and services. Mohalla Tech, the parent company behind Moj and ShareChat, on Thursday announced that it has raised a fresh $266 million in funding led by Alkeon Capital at a valuation of $3.7 billion. This is the third investment garnered by the company in the current year, taking its 2021 fund tally alone to a staggering $913 million.

The series G financing has also been backed by a clutch of other new and existing investors including Temasek, Moore Strategic Ventures (MSV), Harbourvest and India Quotient. The funding comes less than five months after the startup bagged $145 million from investors at a valuation of $2.88 billion.

So far, investors have infused over $1.18 billion into the company.

Founded in 2015, Mohalla Tech’s strategy is to widen its suite of products and features in the short video and social media spaces that are resonating well with Indians, especially the Gen Z and millennials. The idea is to create immersive social experiences for users. The company has been building on its AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) teams to power its tech capabilities. The firm claims that its short-video platform Moj scores over 4.5 billion daily views. Moj and Indic language social media platform ShareChat jointly have a monthly active user base of 340 million.

Mohalla Tech will deploy the fresh capital to further bolster its AI and ML teams and build social and live commerce capabilities. “With social and live commerce initiatives, the company hopes to reach a target of $100 million annualised creator earnings by the end of 2023,” the company said in a statement.

According to market research firm RedSeer Consulting, short-form video contributes about 7% of overall time spent on content. Indian short video platforms have been able to establish a strong base beyond the top 50 cities, suggest experts. In fact, analysts at RedSeer estimate the short-form video sector to lead the internet economy in tier two cities and beyond. Top three local players Moj, Josh and MX Takatak are estimated to have doubled their count of monthly active users the last one year, the firm said in an October report.

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