Hike Messenger, started as a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank, just announced its Series D funding round of $175 million (approximately Rs. 1,170 crores) at a valuation of $1.4 billion (approximately Rs. 9,350 crores), in a round led by Tencent and Foxconn. Existing investors Tiger, Bharti, and Softbank all also participated in the funding round. Interestingly, Tencent also owns WeChat, a competitor for Hike in India.
In January, Hike announced that it has a base of 100 million users, 95 percent of whom are based in India. According to the company, its users exchange 40 billion messages per month, and spend 120 minutes each week on the platform.
"Hike deeply understands India; a highly diverse market with many nuances," said Martin Lau, Tencent President. "With our investment, Hike will be able to leverage our deep domain expertise in the messaging platform space."
Talking about Foxconn's investment in Hike, FIH Mobile CEO, Calvin Chih said that messaging platforms represent significant investment potential. "Hike, with its hyperlocal strategy is clearly the company of choice for us to co-invest with our partners, SoftBank and Tencent," he added.
"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," added Masayoshi Son, Founder, Chairman and CEO, SoftBank Group.
The company will be using the money raised to invest in areas for the long term, according to Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO Hike Messenger, who also talked about the importance of the investment in that it brings in new partners such as Foxconn and Tencent.