WeChat is the most used messaging app in China. But it couldn’t succeed in India because of a huge competition from WhatsApp, and it failed to wow Indian users mostly because users prefer the simple interface of like WhatsApp. So it almost left the race in India. On the other hand, Indian company Hike is still fighting to become competitor for WhatsApp.
So what exactly is Hike? Hike is a cross-platform instant messaging for Smartphone’s. Now to convert that in English, it is like this cool messenger app used mainly for chatting, with funky and killer stickers instead of the boring smiley’s of the good old days.
How Hike initiated ?
Hike Messenger App got launched globally on 12-12-12 and was made available in more than 100 countries.
Hike messenger CEO name is Kavin Bharti Mittal. There are lot of surprises hidden in Kavin Bharti Mittal personal life which are nice. Kavin Bharti Mittal has launched two apps: “Appspark and Hike Messenger”. Kavin Bharti was has done his education from abroad but still he came back to India to make first messaging app of India.
There was a time when we all sat together to chat, then came cell phones (Nokia 1100 etc.) and we spoke on conference for hours to chit-chat, not so later came Orkut to help us do that through its scraps, then we got our ever famous Facebook, then lately we had WhatsApp which became the most talked about thing after Facebook and now finally we have found Hike.
By February 2013, the App had started catching hold of everyone’s eye and it shook the hell out of competitors when it was rated the No.1 App on Android Play store, iOS Appstore and Windows Store with a 10X growth. A sharp minded person that he is made sure all the money is utilized well and majorly for the betterment of the product. Soon in June 2013, Hike launched STICKERS, to increase user engagement.
Hike was originally a joint project between Bharti and Softbank and has rapidly developed into a success story across India. Market leader WhatsApp says it has some 100 million active users in India. In January, Hike said it had more than 100 million registered users, although the number of active users might differ from that figure.
Smart features of Hike include:
- Two way option : It means you can add or accept the contacts before you message and also it has some security protection that prevents from the unwanted messages from strangers.
- Even the app receives messages offline : Even when mobile data is off, the receivers can get messages.
- Send free SMS: By using Hike messenger, you can send free SMS for any Number.
- Themes : The option for chat themes are limited but one can set the theme with their own picture Apart from basic social messaging means like photos, videos, emoticons and audio files and emojis, hike has 5000+ graphical stickers.
So, Hike is a messenger app similar to many others, offering services such as messaging, voice calls and stickers.
A sharp minded person that he is made sure all the money is utilized well and majorly for the betterment of the product. Soon in June 2013, Hike launched STICKERS, to increase user engagement. In August 2013, they launched their first ever digital campaign “keep close friends close”.
they very well knew that they are at a developing stage and the best and the only way to succeed is to make sure the customer is happy, so they did. They started a co-creation exercise with users wherein they took real time feedbacks from their users for the development of their product. Indian app has won over many customers by including features catering to local demands such as higher privacy and the ability to send messages to be received as SMS texts. For instance, the marketing strategy used by Hike is commendable and unique from others.
Hike Marketing & Funding
This made Kavin realize that it is time for them to be backed financially to stay firm in the market. It is then, when they raised funds worth $7Million from Bharti Softbank (BSB), collaboration between Bharti Enterprises, owners of Airtel, a mobile operating service provider & Softbank, a Japanese telecom company.
This was the right time for them to raise more funds. They now needed to be more focused and at par with their service and strategies, so they again managed to raise $14 Million from BSB in April 2014. With the word spreading at the speed of light, in no time hike crossed the 20 Million user mark and lately they reported that they have reached the 35 Million user base with over 10 billion messages and 3 billion stickers handled per month.
Apart from the tie-ups with brands such as Dominos, CCD, Pizza Hut for discount coupons, lately it also launched a new marketing technique to attract more customers wherein Hike-to-Hike messaging with other phones is globally free and unlimited.
Market Value of Hike
On 16 August 2016 Hike raised $175 million in a new round of funding led by Tencent & Foxconn. After raising this round Hike Messenger reached the valuation of $1.4 Billion.
In January 2016, Hike crossed registered over 100 million users. “Crossing 100 million users is a milestone for us and we have achieved this magic number well ahead of our expectations,” Hike Messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said in a statement.