India’s home grown messaging app Hike messenger on Friday announced that it has acqui-hired Bengaluru based tech startup Creo. This is Hike’s second big acquisition this year, after it acquired Delhi based startup Instalively Livestreaming earlier this year. Hike has the backing of India’s biggest telecom company Bharati Airtel Limited, since the company’s founder Kavin Bharti Mittal is the son of Bharati Mittal – chairman of Bharati Airtel.
With the latest acqui-hire, Hike will look to capitalize on Creo’s expertise in HDMI video streaming. Creo is the maker of HDMI media streaming device ‘Teewe.’ The startup’s co-founders Sai Srinivas Kiran G and Shubham Malhotra were former employees of Bharati-SoftBank – parent company of Hike.
Hike’s acquisition spree suggests that it is serious about catching with its rival Whatsapp. However, home grown app’s subscriber numbers are still far behind Whatsapp, with the latter enjoying clear monopoly in the instant messaging arena. However, these unflattering numbers haven’t managed to deter Kavin Mittal. Mittal is busy integrating some key functions into his messaging app in a bid to outdo Facebook owned Whatsapp.
It was this strategy that led to the integration of mobile wallet into Hike app earlier this year. With this integration, Mittal is apparently targeting first mover advantage in the all important mobile payment area, since Whatsapp still doesn’t have such a service.
Helping Hike in its mission to dethrone Whatsapp are some big tech companies like SoftBank, Tencent and Foxconn. These companies have invested substantial amount and are important stakeholders in the company.