Hike Acquires Bangalore-Based Startup Creo
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.