#FundingAlert: Tinder's co-founders invest in Indian social platform Hike
Indigenously developed social platform Hike has raised fresh capital led by Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen over four years after it became a unicorn. The company didn't quantify the funding or its valuation but the round also saw participation from other marquee angels including Cred's Kunal Shah, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, and Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal. Here are more details.
Hike was founded by Airtel chairman's son Kavin Bharti Mittal
Hike is a socializing and gaming platform that rivaled the likes of WhatsApp. Founded by Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal's son Kavin Bharti Mittal in 2012, the app offers several India-centric features and is available for download on Android and iOS. The fresh funding will be used to expand Hike's product strategy and enable high-quality hiring across various functions.
Hike's latest round saw participation from many notable investors
Besides the aforementioned entities, this round witnessed participation from SoftBank Vision Fund CEO Rajeev Misra, Tinder's other co-founder Sean Rad, Tribe Capital's co-founder and partner Arjun Sethi, Zeta's co-founder Bhavin Turakhia as well as South Park Commons' partner-in-residence Aditya Agarwal. Excluding this round, Hike has raised over $260 million. In August 2016, it had raised $175 million at a $1.4 billion valuation.
Hike was originally an instant messaging service that rivaled WhatsApp
The company debuted in 2012 as Hike Messenger. It caught on as it rivaled the likes of WhatsApp and Telegram. By 2016, it had over 100 million registered users. It was reportedly rebranded as Hike Sticker Chat in April 2019. However, Hike Sticker Chat was shuttered in January to focus on the company's virtual hangout platform Vibe (formerly Hikeland) and mobile gaming platform Rush.
Hike is building new ways for people to express themselves
Hike presently employs 160+ people across 50 cities and functions completely remotely. Hike's CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said the company has been building "new ways for people to express themselves and hang out online" alongside ways to participate in the networks they build. "The next decade is going to spawn a new social future and we're excited to be contributing to it," he added.