Short-video app Chingari launches $GARI social token, NFT marketplace

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Mumbai: Chingari, a homegrown short-video platform, has launched cryptocurrency tokens called $GARI and its own marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFT).

Bollywood actor Salman Khan, who recently announced his own NFT collection, has signed on as the brand ambassador for the NFT marketplace. He launched the $GARI programme in Mumbai on Saturday.

$GARI will enable content creators on the Chingari app to set up their own ecommerce space including for physical merchandise, build NFT creations and help people fund their favourite artists, the company said.

Cofounder Sumit Ghosh said with the launch of $GARI, Chingari is poised to become the “trailblazer of social infotainment platforms” and “will forefront the Indian crypto blitzkrieg”.

“Chingari’s blockchain platform will allow users to obtain tokens for creating or watching content. The idea is to monetise creators’ talent and empower them via a social platform,” said Ghosh, who is also its chief executive.

Recently, Chingari raised over $19 million in lieu of its token from more than 30 venture funds and individual investors. A total of 1 billion $GARI tokens are in supply, Ghosh told ET. Next month, the token will open for sale to “accredited US and non-US investors” and will be eventually listed on crypto exchanges. Chingari’s team holds 10% of the total supply.

Chingari has closed a $15-million equity funding round that saw participation of investors OnMobile, Republic, AngelList and existing investors, Ghosh said. The funding will help the company build ‘$GARI’ with the Solana ecosystem in crypto technology. The company also plans to build features to enable creator monetisation and utility of the crypto tokens across social media user cases.

Founded in November 2018, Chingari lets users download and upload short videos and shop for merchandise within the app, among other things. The Bengaluru-based app boasts of 50 million monthly active users and 85 million downloads to date.

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