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.
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.