Hike messenger from its quarter has received another round of investment of $ 14M (Rs. 84 Crores) from BSB, which is a joint venture between Bharti and SoftBank Corp. The additional investment comes after hike crossed the 15 million user mark and emerged as one of the fastest growing mobile messaging apps.
Hike, a free cross-platform messaging app from BSB, is India’s only homegrown IM app launched in December 2012.
Kavin Bharti Mittal, Creator, hike messenger, states, “It’s been an exciting year for us. We’ve been growing faster than ever; tripling our user base to 15M in just 9 months.” Talking about the funding, he supplements “Our goal with the new round of funding is to double down on growth, further expand our team; hiring the best talent so we can topple the year we just had.”
One of Hike’s India specific features comprises its ability to allow its users to connect with those without smartphones via Free Hike2SMS. This feature is critical in India because till date, feature phones account for more than three-quarters of the overall phone market.
Amongst other very popular Indian-youth specific features, is the ability to pick and choose whom one shows their ‘Last-Seen’ and ‘Status Updates’ to, packed with the ability to share localized Stickers and 2-way Chat Themes.
Commenting on the IM space in India, Kavin further avers that – “There are still less than 100M active mobile internet users in India, out of a population of 1.2B people. India remains a very large, untapped and extremely diverse market and that’s what we’re building for.”
It is noteworthy that over 80% of the app’s users are under the age of 25 and majority of its users hail from India.
Hike is available globally on iOS, Android, Blackberry, WP, S40, S60.
Recapitulation of the key events at hikeapp:
• 12th December 2012 – hike messenger launched
• 21st April, 2013 – hike crosses 5M users
• 25th April, 2013 – BSB invests $7M in hike
• 20th Feb, 2014 – hike crosses 15M users
• March, 2014 – BSB invests $14M in hikeapp