Chingari, an Indian video-sharing social networking app has raised US$13 million in a funding round led by a telecom technology company OnMobile. Other investors include- White Star Capital, Republic Labs US, ProfitBoard Ventures, JPIN Venture Catalysts, India TV (Rajat Sharma), Raghunandan G (co-founder of TaxiForSure), Astrac Ventures, and some family office funds from the United Kingdom.
With its collaboration with OnMobile, the startup hopes to embody its vision to become a super-media app in the country and help engage a billion Indians.
According to a report by Entrackr, Bollywood actor Salman Khan joins the capitalization table of Chingari. He is also the brand ambassador of the startup and has been allotted shares worth US$1.8 million for consideration other than cash. The startup has recently collaborated with a Mumbai-based content house NH Studioz to showcase Salman Khan’s movies on its app.
The startup plans to use this fresh funding to increase its user base to more than 100 million registered users from the present figure of 56 million. This investment deal will also help the mobile entertainment firm OnMobile to distribute and integrate ONMO, its direct-to-consumer gaming platform on the startup’s app, and will allow the companies to work together on other mobile product integrations.
In 2020, the startup had managed to raise funding from several angel investors amounting to US$1.4 million.
Founded in 2018, the Bangalore-based startup also plans to use this fresh inflow of funds to boost its content portfolio and hire more talent while accelerating its user base. The app came into existence after a ban was imposed by the Government of Indian in June 2020 on several Chinese apps including Tik-Tok, the ever-growing and a popular short-video app. Ever since the ban, there has been increase in number of homegrown apps that offer short-video platforms such as- Josh, DailyHunt, Mitron among others.
Chingari’s app works on similar lines like Tik-Tok and provides a short-video platform in India. The company strives to create a vertical mobile-first platform to connect the talent in the country. The startup through its Chingari Multiplex offers also provides social video commerce. In collaboration with OnMobile, the startup would also be introducing gaming options within its app.
With this strategic partnership, OnMobile brings millions of users to its ONMO gaming service while providing instant business value and improved user reach for both companies. According to company sources, OnMobile’s CEO, Krish Seshadri will also be joining the startup’s board. According to Mr. Seshadri, Chingari’s short-form videos and ONMO’s gaming short format challenges complement each other well.
OnMobile’s telecommunications services and products are offered both in India and internationally. Its products include network-based in-call solutions, a voice-based multi-modal portal that allows users to access entertainment and informational content in multiple languages, and speech-based navigation. Besides that, the company also provides interactive media solutions, on-device client software applications, and mobile commerce solutions such as utility payments, movie and railway ticketing, and mobile marketing services.