Mohalla Tech, the parent company behind ShareChat and Moj, has acquired short video app MX TakaTak, underlining its aggressive bets in the short video space.

While the company did not disclose the specifics of the transaction, sources pegged the size of the cash and stock deal at about $700 million.

ShareChat, which has managed to scale up its short video app Moj with over 160 million MAUs (monthly active users), is looking to build on its short video play with MX TakaTak in the fold. ShareChat claims that the merger will "create the largest short video platform for Indians". MX TakaTak's reach of 150 million MAUs, a wide base of local languages and access to talent makes it a lucrative bet. The two platforms will now be controlled by ShareChat, the companies said in a joint statement. The combined Moj-MX TakaTak platform is estimated to have 100 million creators, over 300 million MAUs and nearly 250 billion monthly video views. Post this transaction, MX Media and its shareholders will become strategic shareholders of MohallaTech.

The sizeable deal has been backed by a spate of fundraises by Mohalla Tech in the past year. The company garnered $913 million from investors in 2021 alone. Valued at $3.7 billion, the company has raked in about $1.18 billion from investors in all.

MX TakaTak will continue to function as a separate platform for now, but the two platforms' creator base, content supply and recommendation algorithms will be integrated. “In the coming months, the experience of users and creators will converge enabling creators from both platforms to reach the most extensive set of audiences in India. This will provide users access to unique features including best-in-class camera creation tools with Snap filters, live commerce, and a vast music library,” according to the joint statement.

Video consumption in India has exploded over the last two to three years, helped by the proliferation of affordable smartphones and affordable data prices. According to market research firm RedSeer Consulting, short-form video contributes about 7% of overall time spent on content. Local short video platforms have been able to establish a strong base beyond the top 50 cities, suggest experts. In fact, Moj, Josh and MX Takatak are estimated to have doubled their count of MAU in the last one year, the firm had said in an October report.

Buoyed by the growth, players are now tapping into the live commerce space to expand their pool of revenues. Already equipped with new-age tech capabilities and the advantage of having an expansive network of content creators, foraying into the live commerce segment should not be very difficult for most of them. Moj, for instance, has already partnered with Flipkart to enable live commerce on its platform. Live commerce is expected to touch $2-$2.5 billion in GMV by 2025, say analysts.

“MX TakaTak is a popular platform and this merger further solidifies our position in the short video ecosystem. With this development, we aim to build the largest original content platform on Moj along with the largest community of users across India,” says Ankush Sachdeva, CEO and co-founder, ShareChat & Moj.

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