India’s homegrown messaging platform, Hike Messenger, has raised $175 million in a new round of funding led by Tencent Holdings and Foxconn Technology Group, valuing the company at nearly $1.4 billion. Hike has crossed 100 million users. As much as 95 per cent of Hike users are from India, with 90 per cent of the users being below the age of 30.
The company boasts the exchange of 40 billion messages per month on the app, with 120 mins spent per user per week on the platform. The company claims to be built around three key pillars- Local expressive content, with 10,000+ stickers available in 40 languages, themese and multi-lingual user interface; emphasis on privacy, and the ability to send free SMS when there is no Internet connectivity.
Existing investors in Hike – Softbank Group, Bharti and Tiger Global, Bharti and Softbank also participated in this round of investments, taking the net investment in Hike to over $250 million.
According to a Reuters report, this is the fourth venture capital round and the biggest to date for Hike, a company founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal, son of Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal. The company said it is looking at acquisitions in technology and people, but ruled out an IPO in near future.
“I’m thrilled to announce this new milestone in our journey. Tencent and Foxconn both have pedigrees that speak for themselves and such an investment especially in today’s market just goes to show the strong foundation on which Hike is being built. The new fund raise is going to allow us to push Hike to greater heights and invest in areas that will be key to our long term vision and success,” said Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founcer and CEO of Hike Messenger, on the occassion.
(With agency inputs)