Hike Messenger (stylized as hike) is a cross-platform instant messaging service for smartphones that uses the internet for communication. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other graphical stickers, emoticons, images, videos, audios, files, voice messages, contacts and user location.
Hike was launched on 12 December 2012 and raised its first round of funding of $7 million from Bharti SoftBank in April 2013. Hike is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank. On 16 August 2016 Hike raised $175 million in a new round of funding led by Tencent & Foxconn. After raising this round Hike Messenger reached the valuation of $1.4 Billion. Hike's founder is Kavin Bharti Mittal.
Hike Messenger is an Indian messaging app. Launched on 12 December 2012, Hike attained 15 million users in February 2014 and raised $14 million for its development. Over the next few months, the application introduced free text messaging anywhere in India, chat themes, updated stickers, hidden chats and revamped user interface. In August 2014, Hike reached 35 million users and raised $65 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global.
Hike Messenger made its first acquisition in 2015, buying free voice-calling company Zip Phones, which allowed it to launch free app based calling services that are emerging as a key draw for users.
In 2015, Hike launched the "Great Indian Sticker Challenge" to invite designers to design new stickers. According to the company, 30% of the traffic comes from stickers.
In October 2015, the CEO of hike announced that the user base of hike had reached 70 million, with more than 20 billion messages shared each month. and in December according to hike blog hike is sharing over 1 billion messages every single day and 30 billion+ messages a month. As of January 2016 hike has crossed the mark of 100 million users. "Crossing 100 million users is a milestone for us and we have achieved this magic number well ahead of our expectations," Hike Messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said in a statement.
They have partnered with companies including Cafe Coffee Day, Pizza Hut, and Dominos, to give coupons as rewards.
Hike supports 2 way chat themes that a user can change according to their relationship with person or their mood. The option for chat themes are limited but one set the theme with their own pictures.
Apart from basic social messaging means like photos, videos, emoticons and audio files, hike has 5000+ graphical stickers. Many of the stickers pack can be used across different geographies but a lot of them are highly customized of Indian users. The stickers are available in multiple Indian languages. Apart from this Hike allows users to "nudge", a feature used to ping the receiver. They have sticker feature where the application suggest what should be the best reply for any sticker message.
In January 2015, hike introduced a voice calling feature for their users. The messenger provides free voice-calling over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi across the globe in over 200 countries. In Sep 2015, hike launched free group calls with up to 100 people in a conference call.
In October 2016, hike introduced a Video calling feature for their users. The messenger provides free video-calling over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi across the globe in over 200 countries. Hike has received more appreciations on this feature.
Hike Direct allows users to share messages and files without any kind of data charges within a radius of 100 metres through Wi-Fi Direct, was made available in October 2015. Over internet also it allows you to share files up to 100MB size.
Hidden mode allows users to hide individual and group chats providing extended privacy.
In addition hike has a talking bot called Natasha. It is a talking bot that uses AIML(Artificial Intelligence Markup language) to chat with users.
Hike Coupons allows users to get discount coupons from over 100 brands.
Games are available on hike messenger include Word rush, India Puzzle, Word Search, Number Rush, Sudoku, Snake, Solitaire, Connect, 2048, Run Bhai Run, and Teen Patti Nights
Hike Daily sends daily quotes and facts to all users.
Hike aggregates news and other content such as videos, info graphics, and blogs, and summarizes them in 100 words or less. During the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Hike provided CricBuzz updates to Android users about the World Cup scores.
"Just for laughs" is a feature that sends funny images to all the subscribed users.
In timeline feature one can share status, picture with entire friend list on hike. This feature is pretty similar to the timeline concept of Facebook.
On March 31, 2016 Hike announced the Hike Smell, a fictional feature added as a prank on April Fools' Day.
Hike uses a 128-bit SSL encrypted, firewalled server for the exchange of media and text messages only on wifi. Messages are stored locally in the user's device and the data is not backed-up to Hike's server.