Ever since popular video-sharing social networking platform TikTok, along with a host of other Chinese apps, was banned in India owing to rising tensions between India and China, there has been a myriad of similar apps that have tried to capitalize on the exit of TikTok and fill the void left in the market. Apps like Josh, Doobido, Lomotif, and Triller have witnessed a significant rise in popularity and downloads. Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts, similarly, have been developed as rivals of TikTok.
Owned by Tech4Billion Media Private Limited, Chingari, an Indian video-sharing social networking service that allows users to record and share short video clips has had a similar journey. First launched in November 2018, it was later redesigned last year as its user base increased dramatically after people were left in search of alternatives following the ban of TikTok.
Chingari allows its users to record and upload videos in more than 20 languages, including Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu. Today, the company has raised $13 million in a funding round led by mobile entertainment solution provider OnMobile. Other investors who participated in the round include Republic Labs US, Astarc Ventures, White Star Capital, India TV (Rajat Sharma), JPIN Venture Catalysts Ltd, ProfitBoard Ventures, and some large family office funds from the UK.
This comes after Chingari had raised $1.4 million from a series of angel investors last year, including Jasminder Gulati, FJ Labs (Fabrice Grinda), Angelist, Utsav Somani’s need, Village Global, and Blume Founders Fund.
In a regulatory filing by OnMobile, it was revealed that the deal will mean that the Bengaluru-based telecommunications firm would be integrating and distributing its direct-to-consumer gaming platform, ONMO, on the Chingari app, and collaborate on other mobile product integrations to serve millions of users. OnMobile will also get a stake of 10% in Chingari. On the other hand, Chingari would use the funds to enhance its content portfolio, hire top talent and accelerate its growing user base. The filing added that the consideration would be paid in cash.
OnMobile executive chairman Francois-Charles Sirois said, “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.”
Krish Seshadri, OnMobile CEO, said that the Chingari team had built a terrific product with great user retention and growth. “The Chingari team has built a terrific product with great user retention and growth. “ONMO gaming’s short format challenges and Chingari’s short-form videos complement each other well,” he said. Seshadri is set to join Chingari’s board following the investment.
Chingari co-founder and CEO Sumit Ghosh said, “We couldn’t have hoped for a better partner than OnMobile to help Chingari embody its vision and become a content super media app for Bharat, and help engage a billion Indians. With our visions aligned, this partnership promises to be a winning collaboration.”