Hike, an Indian over-the-top (OTT) chat app announced that it has received $175 million in a series D round led by Chinese company Tencent and Taiwanese chipset maker, Foxconn. Tencent developed WeChat, an extremely popular chat app in China.
Hike which is also backed by leading operators such as Bharti and Softbank, is currently valued at $1.4 billion with the latest round of funding. Hike reports that it has 100 million registered users and manages traffic of 40 billion messages on a monthly basis. Facebook's WhatsApp is Hike’s biggest competitor, with more than 70 million users in the country.
"Tencent entered the Indian market in 2013 through WeChat. It was unable to capture the local traits of the market, however, despite partnerships with local content providers such as BuzzFeed India and Hungama. Both WeChat and Hike follow a similar strategy with a strong emphasis on localization. Examples of localization include the types of stickers offered on Hike, or features such as private chat which have been designed with the Indian youth in mind.", according to Neha Dharia, Senior Analyst, Consumer Services, Ovum.