In 2017, Kavin Bharti Mittal-helmed Hike Messenger acquired two startups, hardware maker Creo and social networking venture InstaLively. Now after almost a year, it has started laying off 20 to 25 percent of its workforce, with a significant portion of the affected employees coming from these two acquisitions.
Last year, at the time of acquisition Creo, was reported to have more than 50 employees. As per the reports, the acquisitions made by Hike last year amplified their team size, mostly in Bengaluru. And now they are looking to integrating and streamlining these teams.
The job cuts are expected to be across functions like human resources, accounting and finance, among others. About 50 to 75 employees can be retrenched across locations. Reportedly, the employees are being provided with a severance package, starting with two months’ salary and upwards.
It was just five months before that Hike unveiled its brand new mobile operating system, ‘Total’, that offer services, such as, messaging and recharging without using data, targeting the lower end of smartphone users to take on leader WhatsApp in a better way. And now it again creates a stir in the market with this layoff.
In 2016, Hike Messenger became the fastest and the youngest startup in India to receive the Unicorn status, after it closed $175 Mn in funding led by Tencent and Foxconn, and which valued the-then four-year-old company at $1.4 Bn. In 2017, it also claimed to have 100 Mn users with almost 90 percent of its users in the age group of 15-24.