Aditya Kothari said he is open to meeting startup founders in the capacity of an investor or an advisor to discuss ‘ideas and possibilities’
An alumni of Presidency College Bengaluru, Kothari previously cofounded Hey Leela, LogVisitor, and ticketing platform Spare Tickets
Kothari’s departure from Chingari comes at a time when a number of Indian startups, including Zomato, Teachmint, and DailyRounds, have seen exits of cofounders in recent months
Amidst the ongoing churn in the short-video space, Chingari cofounder Aditya Kothari has quit the startup.
Kothari made the announcement on his Twitter handle on Friday (May 12).
“Life update : Chingari is about to become my old flame… The tiny sparks that flew a few years ago have now turned into a formidable blaze of 170+Mn users, and the time has come for me to hand over my torch,” Kothari said in a Twitter thread.
Without disclosing his future plans, Kothari said he was open to meeting startup founders in the capacity of an investor or an advisor to discuss ‘ideas and possibilities’.
Terming his journey at the company ‘enriching in so many ways’, the cofounder said the time had come for him to ‘get off’ at his station. He also thanked his team, investors, partners and Chingari users for their support during his stint as the cofounder.
“Mr Kothari has not been active in the day to day operations in the last 18 months. The company has expanded, raised funds and grown multifold in this period. It’s important to note that Chingari’s success is not solely dependent on one individual. The company has a strong team of co-founders and employees who are dedicated to the platform’s growth. Moreover, the existing management comes with a rich experience in building, scaling and marketing of products in past. Overall, the company’s success is a collective effort and the Chingari is well-positioned to continue its growth and success under its current leadership. His departure is a just a formal announcement and we wish him well for his future endeavors,” said Chingari CEO and cofounder Sumit Ghosh.
Reminiscing his journey at the short-video startup, Kothari said, “From scaling and raising funds to fulfill her goals, to hiring the best people to carry her forward, every step of mine was focused on building a product that would make her proud, and a culture that would make her human…but I’m afraid life had other plans for us. The time has come for me to get off at my station.”
An alumni of Presidency College Bengaluru, Kothari is a serial entrepreneur. Previously, he cofounded fashion portal Hey Leela, visitor management system LogVisitor, and ticketing platform Spare Tickets. He previously also served as the business and strategy lead for EV startup Bounce, as per his LinkedIn profile.
Kothari founded Chingari in 2018, along with Biswatma Nayak, Deepak Salvi, and Sumit Ghosh. It was among a slew of short-video platforms that captured the imagination of Indians in the aftermath of the ban on TikTok.
Chingari is an on-chain social app that allows users to post, browse and share video content. The short-video platform also operates crypto token GARI, which has the backing of actor Salman Khan.
Earlier this year, Chingari raised an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Aptos Labs.
The cofounder’s exit comes amid a crisis that has been unfolding within the short-video app space.
Most Indian short-video apps, earlier this year, saw a decline in daily active users (DAUs) and monthly downloads compared to January 2021. Lack of a profitable monetisation model and many failed experiments to prop up revenues weigh heavily on these players. Complicating matters for these players seems to be the ongoing funding winter, which has bogged down the entire startup ecosystem.
Earlier, Chingari also faced allegations of inflating video view counts and deploying dark patterns to attract users. Chingari’s crypto token GARI has also not made much headway and has proved to be a losing bet for investors. The token has tanked nearly 92% from $0.72 on July 4, 2022 and is currently trading at $0.05177.
Kothari’s departure coincides with the exit of a slew of Indian cofounders from their respective startups. In April, Teachmint cofounder and CTO Anshuman Kumar quit the edtech startup, while another edtech platform DailyRounds’ cofounder Deepu Sebin also exited the company in March.
In January this year, cofounders of Chingari’s competitor ShareChat – Bhanu Pratap Singh and Farid Ahsan – also stepped down from their active roles in the company, while foodtech major Zomato’s cofounder and CTO Gunjan Patidar also announced his exit from the company.
(This story has been updated to include Chingari’s statement.)