Sharechat, the Indian social networking app that turned unicorn in 2021 has had quite a tumultuous year. The company has logged a loss of Rs. 5144 crore and two of its co-founders Bhanu Pratap Singh and Farid Ahsan stepped down from executive roles. Last year, they let go of around 700 employees.
Sharechat’s top ring of execs however, saw an increase in their remunerations despite the company’s great loss. Manohar Charan, chief financial officer saw his total compensation increase from Rs. 2.75 crore in FY22 to Rs. 3.11 crore in FY23, constituting a 13 percent increase.
Bhanu Pratap Singh’s income jumped 25 percent from Rs 80 lakh in FY22 to Rs 1 crore in FY23 while Farid Ahsan saw a growth of 14 percent from Rs 72 lakh in FY22 to Rs 82 lakh in FY23.
Chief executive officer Ankush Sachdeva was the only key member of the top brass whose remuneration remained unchanged from the previous financial year at Rs 80 lakh in FY23.
However, according to a company source, all three co-founders had salaries of Rs 80 lakh per year in both FY 22 and FY 23. "In fact, their pay has been the same since FY20. The difference in numbers you see is because of full and final, gratuity, leave encashment etc in FY23. Ankush has no change in his employment so his number is showing the same," the company source added.
In its last funding round, Sharechat was valued at $5 billion, backed by investors such as X (formerly Twitter), Google, Lightspeed, and Temasek. The company saw its revenue increase from Rs 347 crore in FY22 to Rs 553 crore in FY23. However, their net losses jumped 72 percent from Rs 2,989 crore in FY22 to Rs 5,144 crore in FY23. As reported by Moneycontrol, the increase in loss is likely due to rising server rents, financing costs, foreign exchange losses, etc.
Furthermore, as per their annual financial filings, ShareChat reported that advertising revenue increased from Rs 212 crore in FY22 to Rs 255 crore in FY23. Sales of there company’s Chatroom increased to Rs 285 crore in FY23 from Rs 120 crore in FY22.
Moneycontrol also reported that Facebook and Google were the company’s biggest customers in the previous two financial years. Facebook accounted for Rs 25 crore in revenue in FY21 and Rs 27 crore in FY22, while Google contributed Rs 26 crore in FY21 and Rs 50 crore in FY22 to revenues.
The company also saw its financing costs rise almost four-folds from Rs 90 crore in FY22 to Rs 340 crore in FY23. Sharechat’s spend on server rent rose 21 percent from Rs 845 crore in FY22 to Rs 1,022 crore in FY23, content development costs jumped 50 percent from Rs 422 crore to Rs 633 crore during the period, foreign exchange losses ballooned from Rs 55 crore to Rs 239 crore, and provisioning for doubtful assets grew from Rs 143 crore to Rs 199 crore.