Hike Messenger joins unicorn club; bags $175 mn investment led by Tencent, Foxconn

Messaging platform Hike Messenger on Tuesday said it has raised $175 million in a new round of funding led by Tencent Holdings and Foxconn Technology Group, valuing the company at about $1.4 billion.

Existing investors – Tiger Global, Bharti and Softbank Group – also participated in this round.

This is the fourth venture capital round and the biggest to date for Hike, a company founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal, son of Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal.

The company said it is looking at acquisitions in technology and people, but ruled out an IPO in near future.

The latest round of funding takes the total investment to over $250 million so far.

Kavin Mittal
Kavin Mittal, founder and CEO Hike Messenger

“We will be investing this amount in services, people, office space and some long term bets in areas of machine learning, computer vision,” Kavin Mittal said at a conference.

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“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,’’ he added.

When asked if the company plans to go for an IPO, he said “it’s too soon in our journey. We are only three-and-a-half years into the business. It typically takes 6-8 years for business to reach maturity”.

In January 2016, Hike had announced it has a base of 100 million users. As much as 95 per cent of Hike users are based in India and 90 per cent of them are young and below the age of 30 year.

Hike users on an average exchange 40 billion messages per month, he added.

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