Sharechat and the WhatsApp Economy

Sharechat and the WhatsApp Economy

There may be more commerce enabled through WhatsApp groups and Facebook groups in India than on Flipkart and Amazon India combined. Wrap your brain around that.

And there are thousands and thousands of micro communities on these networks, sharing content, information and commerce. Doctors sharing with doctors, patients with patients, real estate brokers with other brokers, people learning English with each other, people sharing songs and movies with each other, brands and small businesses sharing new SKUs and pricing with customers, businesses connecting with their suppliers, and much more.

In some sense, one can view the WhatsApp economy as being the real grass roots economy of India, as opposed to the structured top down ecommerce marketplaces and mobile utilities that have been in the spotlight in India. See my previous post on “Messaging is the New Internet.”

And content sharing behaviour on Whatsapp and Facebook is what we are honing in on with our investment in Sharechat. We believe rather than being purely unstructured and hard to find, content sharing deserves its own dedicated application and people network. We are proud to back Farid Ahsan, Ankush Sachdeva and Bhanu Singh to build out Sharechat, India’s largest content sharing network which, we believe, is India’s answer to Instagram, Tumblr and 9gag.

Farid, Ankush and Bhanu are from small towns in India and they have built a product squarely targeted at Indians from small towns. Today, Sharechat has communities in six Indian languages and 80% of users are outside the main metro cities of India. Each language community is vibrant with regionally themed content, all the way from local celebrities to local jokes to local gossip to economic issues to poetry.

We are excited to partner with Alok and Mayank at SAIF, Anand and Madhukar at India Quotient, and Sameer and Neeraj at Venture Highway.

I’ll leave you with a screenshot of this demonetization joke circulating on Sharechat:

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