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Hike Messenger is laying off staff from companies it acquired last year

Sohini Mitter
28th May 2018
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Hike says it’s “business as usual” as it cuts organisational bloat and moves its Bengaluru workforce to Delhi.  

Homegrown unicorn Hike Messenger is “streamlining” and downsizing its operations across Delhi and Bengaluru. It is laying off nearly 25 percent of its workforce primarily from companies Creo and InstaLively which it had acquired last year. The employees are said to have been offered severance packages that includes two-month salaries.

Hike announced the layoffs in a veiled manner this morning. In a blogpost, founder-CEO Kavin Mittal stated that Hike’s acquisitions in 2017 had “skyrocketed the team size (200 to 350+) making us bigger than we need to be.” He added that it was now an “opportune time” for the messenger and communications startup “to integrate and streamline these teams.”

Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder & CEO, Hike Messenger

Close to 75 employees across divisions from human resources to finance might be facing the boot. Hike also announced that it would be centralising its operations in Delhi and moving its Bengaluru employees there. Kavin indicated that Hike is losing a “few good people” because of the locational shift.

He said,

“Culturally we’ve also found it extremely difficult to manage two core locations. It’s like we have two very different cultures and that’s just hard to make work. So we’ve decided to move everyone from Bangalore [sic] to Delhi. This is bittersweet because we know we’re going to lose a few good people given their personal constraints.”

In June 2017, Hike acquired social networking and livestreaming platform InstaLively (creator of the popular Pulse app). Its engineering and marketing heads joined Hike following the acquisition. Later in August 2017, it acqui-hired hardware startup Creo and absorbed its 50 employees into Hike.

“We’re integrating and streamlining these teams. Just business as usual,” Hike said in a statement to YourStory.

Hike has over a 100 million users, and raised $175 million from Tencent and Foxconn back in 2016. It valued the startup over $1.4 billion. Hike claims that it has developed a sticky ‘social + content’ platform that makes users come back to it more than five days in a week. It has expanded beyond a mere messaging functionality.

Kavin explained,

“Hike [today] is a social content platform focused on privacy, expression and bite-sized content. A place where you can privately chat with friends and also consume snackable content that you love.”

Social + content is going to be the focus in 2018. As a result, the core product would undergo a few changes and simplification. “With this clarity also comes streamlined execution and you’ll immediately see that reflect in the product as well,” Kavin added.

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