Kavin Mittal promoted startup Hike on Tuesday announced that it has raised undisclosed amount of funding from several high profile angel investors. The high profile angel investors include the who’s who of the Indian startup ecosystem, including big names like SoftBank’s Rajeev Misra, Zeta’s Bhavin Turakhia, Cred’s Kunal Shah, Flipkart’s co-founder Binny Bansal, Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal. Additionally, Tinder’s co-founders Justin Mateen and Sean Rad have also participated in the round.
Mittal took to Twitter to announce about Hike’s latest funding round.
This development comes nearly three months after Hike made profitable exit from gaming unicorn major Winzo. The exit helped the Delhi based startup earn nearly 4x return on its investment. Notably, Hike had participated in Winzo’s $5 Mn Series A funding round in 2019. This profitable exit coupled with latest funding round will give Hike the funding muscle to scale up its recently launched products like Vibe and Rush.
With the launch of these two apps, Hike has completely overhauled its image. The company now calls itself as a new age social media company. The company is currently trying to capitalize on these two apps to cement its position as a successful social media company. While Vibe is a messaging app that aims to redefine the way people engage in messaging, Rush is a purely gaming app.
Hike was once a Unicorn and Challenger to WhatsApp
Last year, Hike sought a rebirth after it announced that it is permanently exiting the instant messaging business. This proclamation obviously coincided with the announcement of its two new apps. However, the announcement also marked the end of its long drawn quest to remain a credible challenger to WhatsApp.
With nearly 400 Mn users in India, WhatsApp’s had achieved unassailable monopoly and in the process eclipsed Hike’s chances of surmounting any real challenge.
Not that Hike faced any dearth of funds in its ambitious quest to become a real challenger to WhatsApp. In fact, Mittal’s company was once the proud unicorn, after amassing huge amount of funding from the likes of Softbank, Tiger Global and Tencent. Its last big funding round in 2016 helped the company to amass nearly $175 Mn. Kavin Mittal also happens to be the scion of Sunil Mittal, the Managing Director & CEO of telecom giant Bharati Airtel.
However, the huge funding war chest and lofty credentials could not help Mittal’s company to become a viable WhatsApp alternative. Its failure to catch up with WhatsApp led to erosion in its valuation and eventually lost the unicorn status.