After Softbank invested $90 million in OYO Rooms, another Indian startup Hike Ltd, which runs the messaging app Hike Messenger, has received a fresh bout of funding worth $175 million which has pushed the valuation of the firm to $1.4 billion, making it another Unicorn in the startup space.
The major investment was done by the Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, and Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan. Existing investors Tiger Global, Bharti Enterprises, and the Softbank Group also participated in the Series-D round of funding, the fourth Venture Capital round and the biggest to date for the company.
"This is the fourth venture capital round and the biggest to date for Hike, taking the total investment to over $250 million so far," Hike said in a statement.
Talking about Tencent’s investment in Hike, Tencent President Martin Lau said: “Hike deeply understands India; a highly diverse market with many nuances. It is on a mission synergistic to ours, which is to enhance the quality of human life through internet services. With our investment, Hike will be able to leverage our deep domain expertise in the messaging platform space to provide more value to its users in India.”
At the press conference to announce the fund raising, Founder and CEO of Hike Kavin Bharti Mittal said the company will utilize the funding by investing in their services and improvising and making the product better with enhancements.
Talking about Foxconn’s investment in Hike, FIH Mobile CEO, Calvin Chih, said: “Messaging platforms are where consumers and their social networks reside and represent significant investment potential, particularly in a market like India, where most people will access the internet for the first time on their mobile phones. As a leading provider of mobiles technology and Internet of Things solutions, FIH Mobile understands the value that mobile platforms, such as Hike Messenger, bring to our business portfolio and our strategy for delivering cutting-edge products and solutions that meet the needs of our customers and consumers, enabling us to achieve sustainable business growth. Hike with its hyperlocal strategy is clearly the company of choice for us to co-invest with our partners, SoftBank and Tencent."
Masayoshi Son, Founder, Chairman and CEO, SoftBank Group, the longest standing investor in Hike said: "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. The team has reached an outstanding scale in a short span of 3.5 years. As an investor, we share their vision and are happy that they are moving ahead in their journey so quickly in a competitive environment."
Kavin also said in the statement, "I’m thrilled to announce this new milestone in our journey. Tencent and Foxconn both have pedigrees that speak for themselves and such an investment especially in today’s market just goes to show the strong foundation on which Hike is being built. The new fund raise is going to allow us to push Hike to greater heights and invest in areas that will be key to our long term vision and success".
He further added: "I’m also equally excited to have our existing shareholders Tiger, SoftBank and Bharti follow in this round who continue to show strong support in our long term vision. I must say it’s an incredibly exciting time to be at Hike. Not only do we get to wake up every morning everyday knowing that our work will impact millions of people, we now also have two incredible new partners to do that with, as we further our mission to bring India online."