Hike raises money for the first time in five years to experiment with crypto and gaming
Hikehad raised $175 million at a valuation of $1.4 billion in 2016.
- The company was known as the fastest growing unicorn despite its inability to generate revenue through operations.
- Earlier this year, Hike closed its flagship messenger to focus on the gaming segment.
Several big names like Tinder’s co-founders Justin Mateen and Sean Rad, SoftBank Vision Fund’s chief executive (CEO) Rajeev Misra, Tribe Capital’s Arjun Sethi, Zeta’s cofounder Bhavin Turakhia, Cred’s Kunal Shah, Flipkart’s Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and South Park Commons’ Aditya Agarwal participated in this round.
The company did not disclose any financial details of the funding round.
AdvertisementKavin Bharti Mittal, founder and CEO of Hike, said, “The rapid technological evolution over the last few years has paved the way for massive disruption in social and gaming. There’s little to separate these two categories. Gaming is now inherently social, evolving into a new way for people to hang out and interact in the virtual world.”
Hike will use this funding to expand its product strategy and hire across functions. The company has 25 open positions at the moment. It has a team of 160 employees that are working across 50 cities in India.
The company will use this funding for its recently launched online gaming vertical Rush and said it will experiment in other domains like social and cryptocurrency.
The company was founded in 2012 and was considered one of the fastest growing unicorns in the country. A unicorn, in startup parlance, is a company valued at or above $1 billion. Hike was valued at $1.4 billion during its last fundraise of $175 million in 2016 despite its inability to generate any revenue from operations.
The company had been trying to find ways to montinse its messaging app and even decided to launch a super app, combined with other services like digital wallet, ticket booking, e-commerce and more. However, it did not pay off.
The company decided to shut off the messaging app in January 2021. Instead the company decided to focus on HikeLand, which is a virtual hangout zone launched by the company in June 2020. The company plans to generate revenue from Hikeland through in-app purchases.
AdvertisementHikeLand is now rebranded as Vibe and would continue to offer interactive social media experience. Meanwhile, Rush is a mini games platform that offers casual games.
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