Banned Chinese short video app TikTok’s Indian alternative Chingari has raised $1.3 million in a seed round of funding from AngelList India, Utsav Somani’s iSeed, Village Global, LogX Ventures, and Reliance-owned SaaS startup NowFloats’ co-founder Jasminder Singh Gulati. Chingari has seen a steep rise in downloads ever since the government banned 59 Chinese apps on June 29. The app already has over 1 crore downloads on Google Play Store with a four-star rating. Within around 24 hours of the ban of TikTok and other apps, Chingari had reportedly gained more than 3.5 million downloads. “We never built the business thinking TikTok needs to be banned or will be banned. We had a growth plan before the ban and to co-exist with TikTok. We will continue doing the same. We are doing Bharat specific innovations like giving a platform to crores of Indians to showcase their talent and also win a prize of whopping Rs 1 crore and total Rs 2.55 crores,” Sumit Ghosh, CEO and Co-founder, Chingari app told Financial Express Online.
Chingari said that the funding will be deployed towards hiring for accelerating product development and enhance user engagement. “Sumit and team Chingari have shown how to ship product features at a pace that I have not come across before. They have their ears to the ground, listening to users and are engaging with them on all channels to translate that into the best short video content experience for Bharat’s demanding users,” said Utsav Somani, Partner, AngelList India in a statement. The app claimed a 25-million user base and over 3 million daily active users. Chingari pays content creators a 30 per cent of revenues it earns from brands.
Chingari currently is available in Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu apart from English and Hindi. The void created in the market post TikTok’s ban has led to nearly or perhaps more than a dozen similar apps to enhance focus such as Rizzle, Bolo Indya, Trell, Mitron, Moj, LitLot, Tna Tan apart from older players such as Tiger Global-backed Roposo, ShareChat, etc. Recently, Mitro had raised Rs 2 crore while Bolo Indya had secured half a million dollars.