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  • Writer's pictureXPEDITION Magazine

Chingari, India’s answer to TikTok, is led by Bill Gates-adoring CEO Sumit Ghosh

Sumit Ghosh, CEO and Co-Founder of Chingari, has big plans for the short video platform. The Tech4Billion Media-owned platform is set to launch its own crypto token $GARI and NFT marketplace. The $GARI token will become the default currency for all transactions that take place on the platform. Having raised $32 million in two funding rounds this year, the company is also planning to raise large funding in the Series B round. It also plans to take Chingari global, starting with Indonesia. He spoke to exchange4media about the growth strategy for Chingari.

What was the idea behind launching $GARI tokens, and how will this help creators?

Every video creator who creates content on Chingari will earn $GARI tokens for creating content. The follower count doesn't matter, one can earn money the day they join Chingari and start creating content. All the videos that are uploaded on Chingari become NFT on the Solana blockchain, and they are listed on $GARI NFT marketplace. If a collector buys the token, creators can earn from NFT sale. They can earn every time the tokens gets traded. There are a lot of other creator economy features that we will enable in the app.

When are you listing the $GARI tokens?

We are launching $GARI tokens in November and 2nd November is when the public sale of tokens will take place. After that, we will have a token generation event in mid-November. By the end of November, the $GARI tokens will be available in the app wallet for use. We are listing on FTX and TracX. Eventually, we will list on other Indian exchanges as well. People can trade $GARI tokens from these marketplaces.

Cryptocurrency is a demand/supply game. We have a limited supply of 1 billion tokens. Of that, we are unlocking 200 million tokens in the first year. The value of $GARI will depend on the number of users on Chingari which is always rising. Anything that you do on Chingari will reflect on $GARI token as all the transactions on the app will be done through $GARI tokens.

Even advertisers will have to purchase $GARI tokens to advertise on the platform. So it also becomes a token economy within the Chingari app. $GARI will become the de facto currency of Chingari. As the users on Chingari grow, the demand for $GARI tokens will increase, but the supply is limited, so the price will rise.

Do you have regulatory approvals for launching $GARI tokens? $GARI token has government and voting rights. $GARI is run by DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation). $GARI's users will be able to put on-chain proposals, these proposals will be visible on the Chingari app, and $GARI users will be able to vote. The successfully voted proposals will be taken up by DAO.

If the proposals are about funding, the DAO will fund it and if it is about implementation they will implement it. Everything will be community-driven and the community will decide the future of $GARI and Chingari. The community will propose, and the community will execute. It will become a community project which will be run by a DAO. We will give power back to the creators because it is their app and ecosystem.

Will this help you in getting more creators on board? Absolutely! Chingari will become a favourite destination for creators. There are so many creators on Instagram, but what do they get apart from likes and comments? Conversely, creators on Chingari will not only make money, but they will also have the opportunity to monetise. Creators will own the platform. The more they engage with the platform, their ownership will increase because those users will have more $GARI tokens. How will you deal with hoarders and market manipulators? $GARI is decentralised, and we will try to put checks and balances in place. Even in our public sale, we are not selling $25,000 worth of $GARI to any single person. Our objective is to have maximum participation for the public sale of $GARI tokens so that it becomes truly decentralised and nobody can single-handedly manipulate the market. Today, institutional investors have entered the bitcoin market, and they can buy a big chunk of bitcoin and manipulate the prices. That can happen in $GARI tokens also, but it will take some time depending on when all the tokens are unblocked and available. For now, we are controlling in a way that the community doesn't have shortage when the $GARI token is out in the market. Following the TikTok ban, a lot of short-form video platforms were launched in the market. Has this benefited the creators? Creators have benefited the most. Many creators are buying luxury cars, houses, bungalows from the money that has flown into the ecosystem. Platforms like Moj, Josh, and MX TakaTak are spending lakhs of rupees per creator. Hundreds of millions of dollars are flowing into the creator economy. Creators have made the most of this ban.

Is it sustainable for the platforms, since monetisation has still not picked up? Chingari is monetising through multiple ways. When you list a video on the $GARI NFT marketplace, we will charge a listing fee. So let's say it is $1 or $2, this will be equal to 4 or 5 $GARIs. This listing fee will go to the Chingari app. Imagine a million videos being listed on Chingari, so that is like a million dollars every day that we will be earning from the creators. Also, any time an NFT gets bought, sold or traded, the platform will charge a 3% fee. Let's say your NFT got sold for $1 million, we will make $30,000 out of that. Chingari will get 3% on any transaction that happens on the app.

We will also have ads and video commerce as revenue streams, but we will get rid of ads because Chingari will be a Web 3.0 economy. Chingari will be the first platform which will not be monetised through ads. That said, we will have brands on the platform, but they will advertise through influencer campaigns like hashtag challenges and so on. We will not have the usual ads. I don't see that as the monetisation channel of Chingari. There are better ways to monetise without disturbing the users.

What opportunity do you see in the influencer marketing space? We will set up an influencer marketing platform where brands can come and hire influencers within Chingari app to do some campaigns on Chingari. The in-app currency will be $GARI tokens. Brands will have to buy $GARI tokens and pay the influencers using $GARI tokens.

When do you expect to become profitable? Once this $GARI integration is live, we will start making money right away. We already have 30 million monthly active users, we just need a million users to make transaction using $GARI to make money. Furthermore, we should be able to report substantial revenue by Q1 of 2022.

What are your fund-raising plans? We will be raising a large Series B by end of this year or early next year. I am just waiting for this token sale to get complete on 2nd November. Post that, we will be actively raising Series B. Chingari is not just an India story, we will be launching in Southeast Asia next starting with Indonesia in November. We will launch in another Southeast Asian country by January. Post that, we will expand to MENA. We plan to launch in US in 2024.

With what we have built we can compete with TikTok globally because TikTok is not a Web 3.0 company.

What are your short-term and long-term goals for the platform? The short-term goal is launching and integrating $GARI token in Chingari. The long-term plan is to list on NASDAQ. I want to see an Indian consumer internet company listing on NASDAQ. How has been the growth for the platform? We doubled our user base on the day we announced $GARI. If you look Chingari's global ranking, we are above Facebook in India on Play Store. We are just behind Instagram and Snapchat. We have 2-3 million videos being uploaded on Chingari app. In a month, 100 million videos are uploaded. The video content is doubling month on month. How is the festive season looking for the platform in terms of ad spends? Around 35 brands are advertising on Chingari right now because we still have ads. These clients are working with our influencers as well as doing media buys.

What are the key revenue streams for Chingari? NFT marketplace will be the biggest revenue stream, followed by creator economy transactions. Social commerce will also be a large revenue source. We have a tie-up with Amazon. Apart from that, we are also working with other D2C brands to integrate them in the app and make them accept buy tokens for their merchandise. Our teams are working on that.


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