India has a new tech unicorn. Hike, a four-year-old messaging app, today announced that it has closed $175 million in funding led by new investors Chinese internet giant Tencent and manufacturing firm Foxconn. The Series D round values the company at $1.4 billion, founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal confirmed to TechCrunch.

Tencent, the company that pioneered messaging with WeChat, is the big name here, but existing investors Tiger Global, Bharti and SoftBank also took part in the round, which takes Hike to more than $250 million raised to date. Hike added some strategic U.S.-based investors to its roster earlier this year, but its last major funding was a $65 million Series C that closed two years ago.

“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,” Tencent President Martin Lau said in a prepared statement.

Rivaling WhatsApp

Born out of a joint-venture between Bharti and SoftBank, Hike includes standard messaging app features you’d expect, alongside free voice calling and a few other twists. It has put emphasis on local users with features that include a privacy option to hide chat messages, in case a nosey relative gets hold of your phone as can happen in India, and the ability to send messages via SMS to friends who aren’t using the Hike app, another foreseeable usecase in the country.

Targeting young people, it has played up to a fun and hip image with its marketing and advertising campaigns.

Previous articleNew Pokémon Revealed in Gamescom Sun and Moon Presentation
Next articleA Master of Umbral Moonshine Toys With String Theory

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY