Hike Messenger has raised undisclosed funding from a clutch of tech veterans, including Quora founder Adam D’Angelo, Dropbox’s vice president of engineering Aditya Agarwal and WordPress cofounder Matt Mullenweg.
Ruchi Sanghvi, former vice president of operations at Dropbox, has also invested in the instant messaging app.
The tech veterans invested in the company in their personal capacities and will also act as advisors, Hike said in a statement on Tuesday. The company so far has raised $86 million from Tiger Global and Bharti SoftBank, a joint venture between Japan’s SoftBank and Bharti Enterprises.
“It’s great to have the world’s top brains in tech share Hike’s vision; and not just entrust us with their investment, but more importantly, also advise us on our product and strategy,” Kavin Bharti Mittal, founder of Hike Messenger, said in the statement. “Each of them brings with him/her a core area of expertise, which we at Hike find immensely useful as we aggressively grow in India.”
Launched in December 2012, Hike has acquired 70 million users, 95% of whom are in India, who send over 30 billion messages a month. It competes with WhatsApp, Facebook’s Messenger, LINE and WeChat.
The locally developed messaging app is looking to grow into a platform for content, media and services as it targets crossing the 100 million user mark by the second half of 2016. “India is close to our hearts and we understand the challenges faced by the billion-plus people of India. It’s quite clear that messaging is playing a key role in bringing people online in a mobile-first market like India and Hike Messenger has begun to play a pivotal role in that market,” Sanghvi and Agarwal said in a statement.
Mullenweg of WordPress said that as an online social media entrepreneur, he has kept a close eye on India. “I can see the (Hike) team gearing up and are well positioned for aggressive growth in the country,” he said.
Over the past year, Hike has brought on board leadership from brands such as PepsiCo, Amazon, Unilever and Zynga.
Former Amazon India’s principal legal counsel Gautam Vohra joined as general counsel, while Hemant Goyal, former finance director for global supply chain at Unilever in Singapore, came on board as vice president, finance.