Hike to add payments mechanism with UPI integration
Sources confirmed that Hike Messenger is all set to roll out a payment mechanism on the app which will be the first in India to be integrated with the government's UPI interface. Apart from providing peer-to-peer payments, the app will also provide avenues for recharge and other digital transactions. Indian Bank will reportedly provide back-end support for the service.
Hike Messenger is a messaging app used for sending text messages, stickers, images, emoticons, audios, videos, voice messages etc. Hike gained traction amongst the users for its 2-way chat themes and 5000+ graphical stickers. Hike was founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal and launched on 12 December 2012. Hike was a joint venture between SoftBank and Bharti Enterprises.
April 2013: Hike raised $7 million funding from Bharti SoftBank Joint Venture. March 2014: The company raised $14 million from Bharti SoftBank Joint Venture. August 2014: Tiger Global invested $65 million; Bharti and SoftBank followed suite. Between this time, Hike steadily expanded its user base. From 5 million users in April 2013, by August 2014 it had crossed 35 million users.
In January 2015, Hike acquired Zip Phone- a Y Combinator company which helped it launch its voice calling feature.
Hike introduced the voice calling feature in January 2015 and soon after launched its group call feature. In October 2016, Hike launched its video calling feature. Hike also allows for data and file sharing through HikeDirect within a 100-meter radius. For extended privacy, Hike messenger also allows the hidden mode where individual and group chats can be hidden.
Hike raised $175 million in the Series-D round of funding. This round was led by " Tencent Holdings Limited, with Foxconn Technology Group, Tiger Global, Bharti and SoftBank Corp." It reached the valuation of $1.4 billion and became the fastest company in India to achieve Unicorn status (in 3.7 years). Kavin Mittal became the "youngest Indian" to create a unicorn company in India.
Threatening Snapchat, the Indian messaging app Hike messenger rolled out 3 new features. Hike will have its Stories for people to share their lives and real moments. They expire after 48 hours. Along with Stories, Hike also unveiled its live filters and a built-in camera. One of its live filters was called 'the Modi' and replaces user's face with that of our PM.
4 years into its existence, Hike is the "38th most exciting brand of India" ahead of Twitter and Flipkart. Hike is the "second most used messenger in India" after transcending Facebook Messenger. Besides being "Top 8th Android App" in India, Hike was also named the 'coolest' start-up of 2016 by Business Today.