Short video app Chingari on Saturday unveiled its first-ever crypto token '$GARI', which is launching its own NFT (non-fungible tokens) marketplace.

During the launch event, Bollywood actor Salman Khan was present along with actress Vaani Kapoor.

Recently, the firm completed a funding round of over $19 million from more than 30 venture funds and individual investors. With the funds raised, the company will build features to enable creator monetisation and build utility of the gari token across interesting social media user cases.

Some of the biggest firms that participated in the funding round included Republic Crypto, Galaxy Digital, Alameda Research, Solana Capital, Valor Equity Partners, Kraken Ventures, Blackpine, NGC, Coinfund, LD Capital, 11-11 Ventures, AU21, Cultur3 Capital, Long Term Ventures, Afton Capital, and CSP DAO, among others.

"With a vision to establish 'Social Tokens' as the future of community platforms, $GARI aims to transform the creator ecosystem of the Indian sub-continent by enabling creators to set up their ecommerce space that includes physical merchandise, NFT creations and the ability for the fan community to fund their favourite artists," Sumit Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Chingari, said in a statement.

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 rival of Instagram Reels, MX Takatak, Josh and Moj boasts of 50 million monthly active users and 85 million downloads to date and the co-founders are confident that it will be India's fastest growing 'Social Token App'.

Since its redesign in June 2020, Chingari worked to fill the vacuum created by TikTok's ban in India. Ever since, the number of Chingari users is claimed to have increased exponentially.