Hike acquires YCombinator company Zip Phone, gears up to launch Free Voice Calling
Hike, an instant messaging app that was launched in 2012 to ride on the rising messaging wave from India, today announced its first acquisition of a US-based voice-calling company, Zip Phone. This is the first acquisition by Hike and is aimed at expanding its product range in the internet-based communication space.
Zip Phone, a one-man startup founded by Anuj Jain in the US, has developed a voice-calling app, which works globally. Interestingly, the company was also part of the revered Y Combinator list Summer Batch (2014).
Commenting on the growth and acquisition, Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, hike messenger, says,
From day one, we’ve strongly believed that through communication, we can bring India online. With the acquisition, we take one more step towards that mission. Zip Phone’s technology will allow us to bring free voice calling to the market much faster. Incidentally, this is one of the top requested features from our users as well. We can't wait to launch.
Anuj Jain, Founder, Zip Phone says,
As a start-up enthusiast, I had been keeping a close eye on hike and its developments and I am excited to now be a part of one of the biggest and fastest growing startups in the Indian Internet space and finally, building for India.
Hike represents the rise of product startups made in India for the global market. This seems to be a testament to the fact that India is maturing as a mobile-first product market given the huge mobile penetration.
Hike has over 35M users and has raised $86M from Tiger Global and BSB till date. The app also boasts of a fairly young user base with over 90% of its users being under the age of 25 and residing in India. The chat application has localized features, which are developed keeping in mind the infrastructural and cultural requirements such as Hike Offline - lets you message your friends even when they’re offline, Hidden Mode – allows users to hide their private chats with a password, amongst many others.
The company also announced the availability of industry first, exciting new feature – ‘Hidden Mode’ – that helps users keep their private chats hidden from others.