Hike Messenger joins unicorn club with 1.4bn valuation after Series D investment

Indian messaging app Hike Messenger soars in popularity among under-30s

Archana Venkatraman

Hike Messenger, the Indian messaging application rivaling Whatsapp and Viber is gaining huge popularity as it gets a fresh round of investment of $175 million. The latest financing takes the total investment in Hike till date to $250 million valuing the company at $1.4 billion. Hike has about 100 million Indian users exchanging 40 billion messages on the app every month.

Hike Messenger gaining popularity with fresh round of investment

The latest round of investment (Series D) was led by Tencent Holdings Ltd and Foxconn Technology Group. Existing investors Bharti, Tiger and SoftBank Group also participated in the latest funding series.

Hike Messenger was launched 3 years and 8 months ago and is already billed as one of the fastest growing Indian internet companies. According to the messenger app, a wide majority of its 100 million users are based in India and spend on average 120 minutes per week on the app. According to the company, 90% of its users are under the age of 30 years. According to the app, the reason for its rising popularity is its privacy feature called “Hidden Mode” that allows users to hide chats easily. Hike’s limited data usage is another attractive factor. The app includes features such as Hike2SMS and Hike Direct that helps users send free SMS and share files respectively when internet connectivity is absent or limited.

Hike Messenger wins new round of investment of $175m

The Indian-origin messaging app also has emojis and stickers in multiple languages and localized content making it apt for Indian audience. Hike Messenger includes Hindi and English news, cricket updates, photo filtering features, maps, entertainment and coupons to attract the young Indian internet-savvy users.

Foxconn Technology that led the latest round of investment found Hike’s hyperlocal strategy as key differentiator to win investment compared to global messaging applications such as Whatsapp or Viber.

Tencent President Martin Lau, talking about Tencent’s investment in Hike said: “Hike deeply understands India and its deep nuances.”

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