Tech4Billion Media, which operates video-sharing platform Chingari, has raised an additional $15 million (around Rs 112 crore) in an extended Series A round led by Republic Capital, the company said on Monday.
The round saw participation from Onmobile, JPIN Venture Catalysts, Hill Harbour, Angellist, Venture Collective, Makan Family, Cowa Ventures, MVC Friends, Protocol Labs and other family offices.
The company said that a major part of the funds will be used to enhance the technology of the app, launch new features and augment the back-end technology team by appointing talent across Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Space (AI/ML). It will also focus on increasing marketing initiatives.
In November, Chingari’s crypto token $GARI raised $40 million within 24 hours of its live sale on Republic platform. The funds were raised using a token round, where investors finance a startup by buying tokens of the project directly, which in this case is $GARI. Chingari’s $GARI is also set to debut on six global exchange platforms, namely, FTX, Huobi, Kucoin, OKEX, Gate.IO, and MEXC Global.
The company uses a system called Chingari Coins on the app, which allows users and creators to earn money for performing specific activities, like uploading original audio. These Chingari Coins can be redeemed for cash. It’s unclear whether $GARI will replace these coins, or make the Chinagri Coins fungible with the new blockchain-based token.
Chingari claims that it is also planning to launch its live-streaming, socio-commerce and audio chat features soon, which will help creators to boost their engagement rates with the viewers, and also open the gates for top brands and companies to collaborate with the app and its creators.
Founded in November 2018 by Sumit Ghosh, Deepak Salvi, Aditya Kothari and Biswatma Nayak, Chingari lets users download and upload short videos and shop for merchandise within the app, among other things.
Before joining Chingari, Ghosh worked as a software engineer at Tata Consultancy Services, and later founded Globussoft, an IT and software services provider, where he was CEO. Prior to Chingari, Salvi was ZEE5 Global’s Creative Head, Kothari, the Co-founder of visitor management system startup LogVisitor, and Nayak was Product/Engineering Manager at Globussoft.
“This new funding will further strengthen our position and help us deliver an immersive user experience for our community. It is very encouraging to have reputed new names backing us in the market, with the exponential growth in users over the last two years. We believe that Chingari has the potential to become a household name in India, and we are concentrating our technology and marketing into achieving this goal,” said Sumit Ghosh, Co-founder and CEO of Chingari App. VC Circle