Chingari is one of the short-video apps that surged to popularity in India after the country’s government banned TikTok in 2020.

By November 2022 it had 40 million monthly active users, but now the company has laid off 20% of its staff weeks after one of its co-founders left the company. The Hindu Business Line reported the layoffs, with Chingari describing them as “organisational restructuring”.

This, despite a recent press release trumpeting the fact that it was one of the top 10 social networking apps (by gross revenues) on Apple’s App Store in India. The company said it had generated $10m in its last financial year, with $25m predicted for the next.

Unlike many rivals, Chingari has pivoted towards web3, with its own ‘GARI’ crypto token and a recent investment from blockchain firm Aptos Labs.

Chingari is just the latest of the homegrown Indian short-video apps to hit a bump in its growth. Rival Moj’s parent company ShareChat announced layoffs in January, while another app, Tiki, is shutting down this month.

Competition from YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels may be starting to bite.

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