Instant messaging app Hike has raised $65 Mn in a new round of funding led by Tiger Global, with BSB also participating in the round. Hike is founded by Bharti Airtel founder Sunil Mittal’s son Kavin Bharti Mittal.
Tiger Global was a major contributor in this round, with BSB adding a small part and with this round Tiger Global now holds a minority stake in the company.
“With the new investment, our focus will continue on developing innovative features to bridge the existing gaps in messaging market in India,” said Hike’s founder and Chief Executive Kavin.
The app was launched in 2012 and is backed by Bharti Softbank (BSB) – a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japanese telecom firm Softbank Corp. This will third fund infusion by BSB in Hike after April 2013 when it invested $7 Mn and later in March this year BSB invested $14 Mn into it.
The new funds will be infused in product development and marketing, apart from hiring and grow its team from the current number of 100 people.
Hike is based of India and its major chunk of users are from India which is said to be 90%. It has over 35 Mn users, of which 15 Mn have been added in the last two months.
“The company’s incredible traction, the rapid pace at which its team operates and its sharp focus are compelling,” Lee Fixel, partner at Tiger Global Management
Hike competes with other many other instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Viber and BBM. Yet what sets Hike apart from these apps is that it allows users without smartphones to communicate with other Hike users via free SMS.