Hike joins the unicorn club with a 1.4 billion USD valuation !! This morning I woke up reading this article on Economic Times. It definitely indicates the fact that the startup boom in India is here to stay and billion dollar valuations are not yet a FAD.
This round of investment in a company that already has investors like Tiger Global, however opens up a Pandora’s box of possibilities. For instance, the investment round of 175 million USD being led by Tencent (does it ring a bell ?) and Foxconn (biggest assembler of cell phones for Apple) can mean Hike appearing on a global level as a threat to FB controlled Whatsapp. This can happen in two ways:
- Tencent’s expertise – The company behind WeChat makes more than 5 billion USD in profit annually. To add to this, Tencent also has expertise in payment space along with Banking license in China. Will such expertise be extended to Hike ? Definitely yes !! The other fact that must also be kept in mind is will Tencent use its clout to help Hike expand in other markets.
- Foxconn – This partner in this investment round does make it extremely interesting. Will Foxconn play a role in bundling Hike as part of the phone OS? This can make the game extremely captivating for likes of Whatsapp.
While Hike CEO has already indicated there are no plans to integrate WeChat with Hike in future, the possibility cannot be ruled out. Overall, the value proposition that Tencent and Foxconn are bringing on to the table is an interesting one !
Some key facts on Hike :
- 100 million user base with 95% based in India
- 40 billion messages being sent on a monthly basis
The battle for messaging service has just got more intriguing. Beware Whatsapp, Hike is here !