Mumbai: Chingari short video app has raised $15 million in a funding round led by Republic Capital.

Onmobile, JPIN Venture Catalysts, Hill Harbor also participated in the round with angel investors. This brings the total funds raised in the round to $28 million.

Crypto exchange OKEx has also made a strategic investment in the startup under which it will list Chingari’s native crypto token $GARI on the exchange, which launched last year.

The startup will use the new capital to improve app technology, launch new features and expand its team. The company will also use funds to increase marketing initiatives to strengthen brand reach in non-metro cities.

Founded in November 2018 by Sumit Ghosh, Deepak Salvi and Biswatma Nayak, the app was one of many TikTok clones that emerged in India but failed to gain the same traction. The company has now evolved to focus on monetizing creators using crypto tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

ET reported earlier this month that Web3 tools such as crypto tokens and NFTs will become a key theme in the creator economy in 2022.

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With over 35 million monthly active users, Chingari also plans to add other revenue streams for creators through live streaming, social commerce, and audio chat on the app. The app aims to grow its user base to 200 million by the end of 2022.

Chingari’s crypto token “$GARI” is also set to debut by listing on six global exchanges – FTX, Huobi, Kucoin, OKEX, Gate.IO, MEXC Global.

“This new funding will further strengthen our position and help us deliver an immersive user experience to our community. It is very encouraging to have new reputable names supporting us in the market, while our existing investors have also offered to increase their investments and help us reach new heights,” said Chingari Co-Founder and CEO , Sumit Ghosh.

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