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|Developer(s)||Kavin Bharti Mittal|
|Initial release||December 12, 2012|
|Operating system||Android, iOS|
|Available in||10 languages|
|Type||Instant messaging, voice over IP|
Hike is an Indian social and technology company, with a namesake freeware, cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) application. In addition to text messaging, Hike users can send each other graphical stickers, emoticons, images, videos, audios, files, voice messages, contacts and user location.
Hike was launched on 12 December 2012. On 16 August 2016, Hike raised $175 million in a new round of funding led by Tencent & Foxconn. After raising this round Hike reached the valuation of $1.4 Billion and became the youngest startup to reach unicorn status having achieved it in just 3.7 years after launch. Hike's founder is Kavin Bharti Mittal.
Launched on 12 December 2012, Hike attained 15 million users in February 2014. Over the next few months, the application introduced free text messaging across India, chat themes, updated stickers, hidden chats and revamped user interface. In August 2014, Hike reached 35 million users.
Hike made its first acquisition in 2015, buying free voice-calling company Zip Phones, which allowed it to launch free app based calling services that are emerging as a key draw for users. Later in 2015, Hike also integrated the brands TinyMogul and Hoppr under its own brand name.
In 2015 Hike launched the "Great Indian Sticker Challenge" to invite designers to design new stickers. According to the company, 30% of the traffic comes from stickers.
In October 2015, Hike announced that the user base of Hike had reached 70 million, with more than 20 billion messages shared each month. In December 2015, over 1 billion messages were being shared over the app in one day.
In January 2016, Hike crossed registered over 100 million users. "Crossing 100 million users is a milestone for us and we have achieved this magic number well ahead of our expectations", founder and CEO, Kavin Bharti Mittal said in a statement.
In November 2016, Hike announced the launch of Stories, a feature that allows people to share stories about their lives and real moments using fun live filters. These stories vanish in 24 hours.
In June 2017, Hike announced the launch of Hike 5.0 along with Hike Wallet. It became the first Indian messaging app to launch payments after this announcement. In addition to the Hike Wallet, Hike launched multiple new features including 10 new App Themes, a Night Mode and Magic Selfie. It also brought back its Timeline feature after multiple user requests.
Later in 2017, Hike also announced its acquisition of hardware startup Creo for an undisclosed amount.
Hike raised its first round of funding of $7 million from Bharti and SoftBank in April 2013. It received another round of investment of $14M from Bharti and Softbank in March 2014. In August 2014, Hike reached 35 million users and raised $65 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global.
On 16 August 2016 Hike raised $175 million in a new round of funding led by Tencent & Foxconn. After raising this round Hike reached the valuation of $1.4 Billion and became the youngest startup to reach unicorn status having achieved it in just 3.7 years after launch.~
Total, built by Hike
In January 2018, the company announced the launch of 'Total, built by Hike'. Total allowed users to access services on their mobiles even in the offline mode or without the internet.
Hike teamed up with mobile carriers and OEMs for Total, with device makers bundling a tweaked version of Android that makes Hike the default text/call app and loads features like Hike’s wallet, cricket news and horoscopes. Hike announced Intex, Karbonn and Airtel Mera Pehla Smartphone as device partners and Airtel, BSNL and Aircel as telecom partners.
With 60 words news on the go, Hike News allows users to stay updated with the latest happenings around India and the world. Hike News comes in 8 Indian languages apart from English - Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati and Kannada.
Users can get the latest cricket score updates with Hike Cricket.
Hike also aggregates the latest jokes and memes for users in an endless, snackable content feed.
In January 2018, Hike announced the launch of Hike ID to enhance its privacy features. Hike ID is a unique custom username that removes the need for sharing phone numbers to chat with someone. Users can also search for each other using their Hike ID.
Hike supports 2 way chat themes that a user can change according to their relationship with person or their mood. The option for chat themes are limited but one can set the theme with their own pictures. The app also allows users to set their own App Theme, letting users choose from 10 different inbuilt themes. Hike also announced the launch of Night Mode - an app theme to reduce strain on eyes in low light conditions.
Apart from basic social messaging means like photos, videos, emoticons and audio files and emojis, Hike has 20000+ graphical stickers. Many of the sticker packs can be used across different geographies but a lot of them are highly customized for Indian users. The stickers are available in 40+ Indian languages. Hike also has sticker suggestions where the application suggests the best reply for any sticker message. Apart from this, Hike allows users to "nudge", a feature used to ping the receiver. In September 2017, Hike launched personalised sticker packs for over 500 colleges across India.
Voice and video
In January 2015, Hike introduced a voice calling feature for their users. The messenger provides free voice-calling over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi across the globe in over 200 countries. In Sep 2015, Hike launched free group calls with up to 100 people in a conference call.
In October 2016, Hike introduced a Video calling feature for their users. The messenger provides free video-calling over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi across the globe in over 200 countries. Hike has received more appreciations on this feature.
Timeline and Stories
In the Timeline, users can share pictures, videos, links or text updates with their friends or everyone on Hike, based on their privacy settings. Users can also upload Stories with various face filters and stickers. These stories stay for 24 hours for friends to see before disappearing.
- Hidden mode allows users to hide individual and group chats providing extended privacy.
- Hike also has a talking bot called Natasha, that uses AIML(Artificial Intelligence Markup language) to chat with users.
- Hike Daily sends daily quotes and facts to all users.
- In March 31, 2016 Hike announced Hike Smell, a fictional feature added as a prank on April Fools' Day.Users were informed that by using special sensors in their phones, they could capture and attach smells to their messages.
Hike uses a 128-bit SSL encrypted, firewalled server for the exchange of media and text messages only on WiFi. Messages are stored locally in the user's device and the data is not backed-up to Hike's server.
Hike also has a Hidden mode for extended privacy. In addition to this, users have the option of choosing who to share their last seen and profile pictures with.
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