Hike has offloaded its entire two-year-old stake in social vernacular gaming platform Winzo. Winzo announced on Monday that it has conducted share buyback process of $12Mn to give a profitable exit to Hike, with Kavin Mittal led company earning a 4x return on its investment. The SoftBank-backed company had earned a small stake in Winzo after Hike participated in a $5 Mn Series A funding round in 2019.
Winzo has claimed that its $12 Mn share buyback is one of the largest buy back transactions by an early-stage start-up in the Indian start-up ecosystem.
Commenting on Hike’s exit, Winzo’s co-founder Pavaan Nanda said ““That’s correct. Hike’s been given a complete exit from WinZO. As Founders, we are super chuffed and humbled to have a Board that is extremely bullish, and completely aligned with the audacious goals we have set for ourselves. They had immensely supported the Company through the process.”
Winzo has also reportedly withdrawn the non-compete clause against Hike, since the latter has forayed into the gaming space with its recently launched app Rush. In fact, Hike is expected to leverage the windfall made from Winzo’s exit for scaling its Rush app. The company also recently launched another social virtual app, Vibe.
Hike was recently in news for making an unceremonious exit from the instant messaging biz, which kind of made it official that the company can no longer surmount any challenge to Whatsapp. Even SoftBank funding and unicorn valuation could not help Hike to muster any credible challenge to Whatsapp. However, people privy to the matter claim that Kevin is unfazed by the failure of Hike messaging app and is now completely focused on scaling up Rush and Vibe.
According to data sourced from Google Play Store, Rush app has clocked little over 10,000 downloads while Vibe has clocked more than 1,00,000 downloads.
Winzo giving a profitable exit to Hike with 4x gives a strong hint that the company saw a strong surge in its valuation during the series B round. The company, which till date has amassed $38 Mn of funding, counts high-profile investors like Makers Fund, Kalaari Capital and Courtside Venture Partners.