In a rather interesting development in the IM space, home-made Hike has announced that it recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding from some of Silicon Valley’s top tech stalwarts.
These include the likes of Adam D’Angelo, Founder and CEO, Quora; Aditya Agarwal, Vice President Engineering, Dropbox; and Matt Mullenweg, Founder and CEO of Automattic Inc and Co-Founder of WordPress. These people have invested in Hike in their personal capacities and have also joined the board as advisors.
Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike Messenger, said in a statement,
It’s great to have the world’s top brains in tech share Hike’s vision, and not just entrust us with their investment, but more importantly, also advise us on our product and strategy. Each of the them brings with him/her a core area of expertise, which we at Hike find immensely useful as we aggressively grow in India.
Hike was launched in 2012 and has since grown into a network of 70 million users with about a billion messages exchanged on its network per day.
Unlike a simple messaging interface like that of Whatsapp, Hike has evolved itself more on the lines of WeChat or Line but with a focus on Indian population having limited access to low-speed mobile data. More recently, Hike has been working to evolve itself into more of a platform — on the lines of Facebook’s Messenger — rather than remain gin a standalone chatting place.
It’s quite clear that messaging is playing a key role in bringing people online in a mobile first market like India and Hike Messenger has begun to play a pivotal role in that market,
said Ruchi Sanghvi, ex-Vice President, Operations, Dropbox who has also invested in the recent round.
While visually appealing chat interface is one thing with Hike, it has now also begun to offer other services like real-time News, coupons from brands, live cricket scores, Hindi news bytes, voice calling, stickers in 30 languages, group calling, group chat for up to 500 members and 100 MB file sharing.
Just today, Hike also launched a Car Match service allowing the users to share cabs with other users going on the same route.
As an online social media entrepreneur myself, I have keenly observed India. I believe in Hike Messenger’s vision and I can see the team gearing up and are well positioned for aggressive growth in the country.
said Matt Mullenweg, Founder and CEO of Automattic Inc. and Co-Founder of WordPress.
Hike has so far raised $86 million in funding from Tiger Global and Bharti SoftBank, which is the joint venture between Japan’s SoftBank and Bharti Enterprises.