Homegrown short video app Chingari has raised $13 Mn in a fresh funding round led by mobile entertainment solution provider OnMobile, with participation from Bollywood actor Salman Khan.
OnMobile has acquired about 10% stake in the short video app after this latest round, whereas Khan has received shared worth INR 13.5 Cr other than the cash to be the company’s brand ambassador.
Republic Labs US, Astarc Ventures, White Star Capital and Indian news network India TV, JPIN Venture Catalysts Ltd, ProfitBoard Venture, Zolve’s Raghunandan G and unnamed UK-based large family office funds have also participated in this round.
Prior to this, Chingari had raised about $1.4 Mn in seed funding round back in July 2020, from LogX Ventures, AngelList’s Utsav Somani, NowFloats’ Jasminder Singh Gulati, AL Trust (Vistra ITCL) and Village Global.
Chingari plans to use this funding to strengthen its content portfolio, accelerate its user base and hiring talent. The capital will allow Chingari to accelerate its growth from 56 Mn users to over 100 Mn users.
Founded in 2000, OnMobile offers value-added services in emerging markets. It plans to integrate and distribute its games on the Chingari app, and collaborate on other product integrations in the future. Notably, OnMobile’s CEO Krish Seshadri will join Chingari’s board of directors after this round.
“We are very excited about this investment and partnership bringing millions of users to the new ONMO gaming service while providing immediate business value and increased user reach for both companies,” OnMobile’s executive chairperson Francois-Charles Sirois said.
Chingari was first created in 2018 by Biswatma Nayak and Siddharth Gautam and other team members of app development company Globussoft, which included the current Chingari CEO Ghosh. Following the rise in the user base, the company decided to register two separate entities — Tech4Billion Pvt Ltd and Chingari Media Pvt Ltd. While Tech4Billion raises funds as the parent entity, Chingari Media operates the app and the business.
Moving beyond short videos for entertainment, Chingari recently took a step towards the video commerce market to create an alternate stream of revenue for itself as well as the creators on the platform. The latest leap into video commerce will pit Chingari directly against the likes of Trell and SimSim as well as core video commerce platforms like BulBul.
“This will make millions of videos on Chingari shoppable and will generate affiliate revenues for the creators, a part of the revenues will be shared with the creators, making Chingari creator economy a full circle economy where creators get paid if their content makes money,” Chingari CEO Ghosh had said at the time of the launch.
Update: April 1, 2021 | 5:20 PM
The article has been updated to incorporate more details from the regulatory filings.