Tech4Billion Media, which operates short video-sharing platform Chingari, has raised $19 million (around Rs 140 crore) in a new financing round from 30 venture funds and individual investors. The funds were raised using a token round. A token round is where investors invest in a startup by buying tokens of the project directly, which in this case is $GARI.
The $GARI token will be built on the Solana blockchain network, an up and coming cryptocurrency that is often seen as a competitor to Ethereum. The company’s first token sale is scheduled for November 2, according to a report by Cointelegraph.
The round was co-led by blockchain investors Republic Crypto and Galaxy Digital. Alameda Research, Solana Capital, Valor Equity Partners, Kraken, Blackpine, NGC, Coinfund, LD Capital, Borderless Capital, AU21, Cultur3 Capital, Long Term Ventures, Afton Capital, and CSP DAO were also part of the round, which included 30 venture funds.
“The future of a platform lies in its creators. On one side, we have an immense talent pool that needs to be explored, and rewarded with an ethical amount of monetization. On the other hand, while crypto experiences a rapid expansion in India, $GARI is poised to make it mainstream,” said Sumit Ghosh, CEO and co-founder of Chingari.
The company already has a system called Chingari Coins on the app, which allows users and creators to earn money for performing specific activities, like uploading original audio. These Chingari Coins can be redeemed for cash. It’s unclear whether $GARI will replace these coins or make the Chinagri Coins fungible with the new blockchain-based token.
The idea of having a virtual currency built into social apps isn’t particularly new. Chinese platforms like Bigo Live and TikTok also had systems similar to the Chingari Coin, although neither of those platforms used a real cryptocurrency. However, while coins like Chingari Coin exist within a platform and usually have no trading value, coins like $GARI are often traded on crypto exchanges. Such coins are also issued by sports teams and clubs.