Hike Ac­quires Ban­ga­lore-Based Startup Creo

The DQWeek (Chennai) - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Home­grown mes­sag­ing and so­cial me­dia tech­nol­ogy com­pany Hike has ac­quired Creo, a Ban­ga­lore-based startup that has in the past re­leased smart­phones, me­dia stream­ing don­gles, and an op­er­at­ing sys­tem.

Hike an­nounced the ac­qui­si­tion in a short state­ment with­out dis­clos­ing the price of the deal. “The Creo team will be­gin work on a devel­oper plat­form to en­able third party de­vel­op­ers to build ser­vices on the Hike plat­form,” a Hike spokesper­son said.

Creo was founded in 2013 by Sai Srini­vas Ki­ran G, and Shub­ham Mal­ho­tra, former Hike em­ploy­ees. Creo was ear­lier known as Mango Man Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics. Its first com­mer­cially avail­able con­sumer prod­uct was a stream­ing me­dia don­gle, Tee­wee.

Hike investors in­clude Ten­cent, Fox­conn, Tiger Global, SoftBank and Bharti. This is Hike’s third big ac­qui­si­tion. Pre­vi­ously, Hike had ac­quired ZipPhone, a US-based free voice-call­ing com­pany in 2015 and con­tent shar­ing plat­form Pulse.

Hike which has over 300 em­ploy­ees spread across 2 of­fices in Delhi and Ban­ga­lore has Ten­cent, Fox­conn, Tiger Global, Softbank and Bharti as its investors.

The mes­sag­ing app was launched in De­cem­ber 2012 and ac­quired a user base of over 100 mil­lion in Jan­uary 2016. Face­book-backed What­sapp had an­nounced ear­lier this year that it hit 200 mil­lion monthly ac­tive users in In­dia whereas Hike’s lat­est data on ac­tive monthly users is un­avail­able.

In Au­gust 2016, Hike raised its fourth round of fund­ing of $175 mil­lion which was led by Ten­cent and Fox­conn at a val­u­a­tion of $1.4 bil­lion. The com­pany claims to be the fastest com­pany in In­dia to at­tain a val­u­a­tion of $1 bil­lion.

Hike in Au­gust 2016 had claimed that 95% of its users were based in In­dia and the in­stant mes­sag­ing app was see­ing over 40 bil­lion mes­sages a month.

A poll by Tata Con­sul­tancy Ser­vices in De­cem­ber 2016 re­vealed that 83% of re­spon­dents used What­sApp, 68% used Face­book Mes­sen­ger and 44% had home­grown mes­sag­ing ser­vice Hike.

In June, Hike beat What- sapp to launch to launch mes­sen­ger app pay­ments in In­dia. As per re­cent re­ports, What­sApp beta is show­ing early signs of UPI based pay­ments in­te­gra­tion which Hike and WeChat mes­sen­ger al­ready sup­port.

The home-grown mes­sag­ing ser­vice is look­ing to over­take mes­sag­ing ser­vice What­sApp and mo­bile wal­let com­pany Paytm to be­come the lead­ing mes­sag­ing and pay­ment app in the coun­try.

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