Messenger app Hike raises $175 mn through funding

Kavin Bharti Mittal
Instant messenger app Hike on Tuesday announced that it raised financing of over $175 million led by Chinese company Tencent Holdings and Taiwanese electronic manufacturing company Foxconn Technology Group.

This has led to the value of the company amounting to close to around $1.4 billion, with existing investors Tiger, Bharti and SoftBank also participating in this round.

In January 2016, Hike had announced that it has a user base of a 100 million users. 95 percent of Hike users are based in India and 90 percent of them are young and below the age of 30. Hike users, on an average, exchange 40 Billion messages per month and spend 120 min. per user per week on the platform.

“Tencent and Foxconn both have pedigrees that speak for themselves and such investment shows 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 Hike Founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal at an event held in Delhi.

This is the fourth venture capital round and the biggest to date for Hike, taking the total investment to over more than 250 million.

The company said it will be investing the raised fund in improving the technology of the app as well as for better service.

Talking about end-to-end encryption, Mittal said they were planning to introduce it soon and were in talks with the government.

Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO, SoftBank Group, the longest standing investor in Hike said: “Hike is one of SoftBank’s best performing portfolio companies in India and we are happy to have stayed invested in it from the beginning. The team has reached an outstanding scale in a short span of 3.5 years.”

Hike has a roster of some of the most prominent people in the technology space as angel investors such as Adam D’Angelo, founder and CEO, Quora; Aditya Agarwal, vice president Engineering, Dropbox; Ruchi Sanghvi, erstwhile vice president, Operations, Dropbox and Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO of Automattic and co-founder of WordPress.