Free instant messaging app, Hike raises USD 7 million from Bharti Softbank

Launched in December 2012, Hike, the free instant messaging app has raised $7 million from Bharti Softbank (BSB), a joint-venture between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank Corporation. Hike recently crossed 5 million user base  in last 4 months and is now available globally for Blackberry beta along with iOS, Android, WP & S40.

Hike is a new messenger app that allows users to  send free messages to their friends and family even if they are not having Hike app. The app is available at Google play store. It has become quite popular in Indian market as 60% of hike’s user base comes from India and the rest global led by Middle East and Europe.

Mike Kayamori, Director, Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank Corp. said, “The traction for hike has been phenomenal, especially in such a competitive market. This new round of investment is an endorsement, of the great work put in by the entire team. We are really excited to be a part of the journey where we continue to enrich people’s core communication experience!”

With players like Groupme, WhatsApp, Wechat and Facebook messenger already present in the market with a huge user base, this app is gaining heights with its USP of allowing users to communicate over SMS as well as data networks. Although the users find that it uses 60+ Mb ram while running in background which is quite high in comparison to other available messaging apps and it also does not provide feature of “last seen” like in WhatsApp messenger, still it is quite an easy and nice messenger for internet generation.

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In 2011, India’s Bharti enterprises, a leading business group in telecom, agriculture, retail and manufacturing sector, entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Japan based Softbank, one of the telecom operator giants to make a milestone in the mobile ecosystem of India.

According to the reports, Hike, which is being launched globally in late 2012, comes after six months of Bharti SoftBank, led by  Kavin Bharti mittal, the son of Telecom Giant Sunil Bharti Mittal, buying a 49% equity stake in a Gurgaon-based mobile startup  Y2CF Digital, a consumer products and marketing company with focus on digital media. He is also the founder and CEO of AppSpark, founded in late 2008 to gain market opportunities in mobile space.

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