EXCLUSIVE: Chingari app is in talks with a global VC firm after the TikTok rival gets lit with over 10 million downloads⁠

EXCLUSIVE: Chingari app is in talks with a global VC firm after the TikTok rival gets lit with over 10 million downloads⁠
Chingari appBI India
  • It took Chingari one and a half years to get to 1 lakh downloads, since its launch in November 2018, but the past few days have given it millions of new users.
  • “I’m sure even Mark Zuckerberg has not seen this moment – of adding 600,000 users every hour,” Sumit Ghosh, co-founder of the app told Business Insider.
  • While Chingari’s co-founder Sumit Ghosh didn’t confirm or deny the news about the funding, he did open up about this ‘opportunity of a lifetime’.
  • The TikTok rival app from India that shot to fame with the ban on the Chinese apps, and its crazy ride to popularity has also got the attention of investors.
Chingari, the TikTok rival app from India that shot to fame after the country’s ban on Chinese apps. The over 10 million downloads that followed (as of July 2) has caught the attention of a global venture capital firm too, according to a source.

The funding announcement is likely soon, the source said. While Chingari’s co-founder Sumit Ghosh didn’t confirm or deny the news, he did open up about this ‘opportunity of a lifetime’.

“I’m sure even Mark Zuckerberg has not seen this moment – of adding 600,000 users every hour.” he told Business Insider Chingari is also hiring. The team needs 10-15 people right away to help with the surge in traffic – UI/UX designers, engineers and more.

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Millions of downloads may equal millions in valuation

As soon as India banned Chinese apps on June 29, Chingari began to get 100,000 downloads per hour and now, has crossed over 10 million in downloads on Google Play Store.

Ghosh’s first reaction was, in his own words, “ what just happened?!” The startup which has raised no funds so far, took one and a half years to get to 1 lakh downloads, since its launch in November 2018.

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But now, the app is currently adding 3-4 million users everyday, according to Ghosh. “We were at the right place at the right time. We have been doing this for a while, but we didn’t get the traction that the app deserved. And it’s finally happening now,” he said and added that an opportunity of this scale comes to very very few entrepreneurs,

Right place, right time

This was definitely a breakout moment for Chingaari but it also got unexpected support. “We were trending on the playstore even before the ban. The trend began with Sonam Wangchuk’s video appeal to use Made in India apps. We started asking people to try our Made in India app and that sentiment went viral, people started posting on Instagram asking everyone to try Chingari,” Ghosh said in an exclusive chat.

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Sonam Wangchuk is an engineer and innovator, and the founding-director of the Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh.

Its popularity grew as Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group too downloaded the app and shared on Twitter, “I hadn’t ever downloaded TikTok but I have just downloaded Chingari... More power to you…”

There’s more work to be done

In the past one week, the team at Chingari has been working relentlessly – 48 hours non-stop at times. There have also been hurdles on the way for Chingari – as the downloads grew, the servers were finding it difficult to manage the traffic. Ghosh often took to Twitter to keep updating users about the server’s functionality.
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EXCLUSIVE: Chingari app is in talks with a global VC firm after the TikTok rival gets lit with over 10 million downloads⁠
Tweets from Chingari co-founder Sumit GhoshSumit Ghosh/Twitter

“Some of us have been taking two hour naps in between. But now we have scaled our servers after understanding the kind of traction we will be getting, so the team is taking proper rest now,” he said.

The app is currently trending in the second spot in Google’s Play Store for top apps in India, with many rooting for a Made in India success – including investors!

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