The Chinese app ban gave a shot in the arm to the domestic players in these segments, such as ShareChat, which has seems a a 3x jump in daily active users, as well as for newer startups in the video-sharing space, such as Mitron and Chingari, which have added millions of new users.
It’s been a month since India banned 59 Chinese apps on June 29 citing national security concerns, including the likes of TikTok, CamScanner, and ClubFactory. The ban, in turn, has given a shot in the arm to the domestic players in these segments, such as ShareChat, which has seen a 3X jump in daily active users, as well as for newer startups in the video-sharing space, such as Mitron and Chingari, which have added millions of new users.
On June 29, India banned 59 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as TikTok, Shareit, CamScanner, UC Browser, ClubFactory, and WeChat, among others. In fact, the government has now also reportedly banned 47 more Chinese apps, which are mainly clones of those already banned. However, reports also suggest that a new list of over 250 more apps has been drawn up which could be potentially banned. This list, the reports say, include popular gaming app PubG.
While users of these apps may have been left disappointed, home-grown players have moved fast to capture the market.
Over the past month, Sharechat says it has seen a 3.5x growth in daily users, with Monthly Active Users (MAUs) standing at 140 million in July. In fact, ShareChat, which was founded in 2015 and counts Twitter among its investors, launched a new short-video app called Moj just two days after the ban.
“Moj was created in two days. It started on July 1, and it now has 50 million downloads,” said Berges Malu, director of public policy at ShareChat.
Chingari is among the newer apps on the block that quickly became the flavour of the season and claims to have seen 3 million downloads daily immediately after the ban.
“The initial spike after the ban led to 3 million people downloading the app every day. The download velocity has reduced but we are still getting 100,000 organic downloads every day,” said Sumit Ghosh, cofounder, Chingari.
“We had 25 million users in a month,” he added.
Mitron, which was launched as recently as April of this year, now has 4.5 million daily active users and is seeing a steady increase in content being watched and added to the platform.
“With every feature, the retention time has grown 3x. 40 million videos are being watched every single hour on our platform,” said Shivank Agarwal, cofounder of Mitron. He added that the platform is seeing 7 lakh videos being added every day
There has been an active, almost frenzied, investor interest in the sectors that have seen popular Chinese apps being taken out with the ban. Top venture capitalists put out tweets saying they were interested in connecting with apps that are replacing the Chinese ones.
Mitron has raised a seed funding from 3one4 Capital, LetVenture syndicate, and is in talks with more investors.
Chingari confirmed to CNBC-TV18 that it raised a round of $1.3 million from AngeList.
“We are actively in the market to raise a larger Series A,” Ghosh added.
Sharechat is in talks with existing investors to raise a large round, which could go as high as $200 million.
“There is going to be a lot of news around partnerships and funding,” he added. “We have great investors backing us, and there are conversations happening. There is a lot of investor interest in the space.”