OnMobile Global Ltd on Wednesday said it has led a USD 13 million (Rs 98.7 crore) funding round in homegrown short video platform Chingari. Other investors who participated in this 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, Onmobile said in a regulatory filing. As per the filing, OnMobile will acquire 10 per cent shareholding. Last year, Chingari had raised USD 1.4 million from a series of angel investors, including Jasminder Gulati, FJ Labs (Fabrice Grinda), Angelist, Utsav Somani’s iSeed, Village Global, and Blume Founders Fund.
The latest investment will allow Chingari to accelerate its growth from 56 million users to over 100 million users, the filing said. Chingari will also use the funds to enhance its content portfolio and hire top talent, it added. As part of the deal, OnMobile will integrate and distribute its direct-to-consumer gaming platform, ONMO, on the Chingari app and collaborate on other mobile product integrations to serve millions of users, it added. “We are very excited about this investment and partnership bringing millions of users to the new ONMO gamingservice while providing immediate business value and increased user reach for both companies, OnMobile Executive Chairman Fran ois-Charles Sirois said. Krish Seshadri, CEO of OnMobile, said ONMO gaming’s short format challenges and Chingari’s short-form videos complement each other well. Following the investment, Seshadri will join Chingari’s Board.
“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,” Chingari co-founder and CEO Sumit Ghosh said. Tech4Billion Media owns the Chingari app that allows users can upload videos in 14 languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu. Chingari app was first launched on the Google Play Store in November 2018 and later rebranded and redesigned in June 2020. The app had witnessed a massive surge in user base last year after the Indian government banned 59 apps with Chinese linkages, including Chingari’s rival TikTok. Since the ban, several homegrown apps like Roposo, Chingari and Josh (Dailyhunt) have seen significant growth in downloads and user sign-ups on their platforms. Facebook-owned Instagram had also joined the race with Reels, while YouTube pitched its India-first “Shorts” to fill the void created after the ban of TikTok in the country.