Bharti SoftBank (BSB) Thursday said it will invest USD 7 million (about Rs 37 crore) in its messaging application 'Hike' that recently crossed five million users.
"BSB, a joint-venture between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank Corporation, focused on the mobile-internet space, Thursday announced USD 7 million fresh investment in Hike, its free messaging app," the company said in a statement.
The company said 'Hike' (Review) crossed the 5 million users in just four months after its launch on December 12 last year which makes it one of the fastest growing free mobile applications globally.
"The traction for Hike has been phenomenal, especially in such a competitive market. This new round of investment is an endorsement, of the great work put in by the entire team," BSB Director Mike Kayamori said.
The company has also introduced an update called Hike 2.0, which allows users to post updates about what they are up to or what they are thinking in real-time to their close friends only.
"We are thrilled by the phenomenal response we've received over the last couple of months," BSB Head of Product and Strategy Kavin Bharti Mittal said.
The app allows users to send free SMS, even to contacts who do not have 'Hike' on their handsets.
"What's unique about Hike is its seamless integration between instant messaging and SMS. This is a very powerful feature especially in a market like India where more than 90 per cent of the 900 million strong mobile population is on feature phones," it added.
The company said 60 percent of Hike's user base comes from India and the rest global led by Middle East and Europe.