The popular messaging app of India, Hike, is likely to be ready to enter the live-streaming field after a recent acquisition. The company, being endorsed by Chinese web giant Tencent, has acquired the Indian live streaming app named Pulse, as reported by Inc42.
According to the report, the founders of the company, Karthik Vaidyanath, and Prakhar Khanduja, as their LinkedIn profiles suggest, have been working at Hike since February this year as head of engineering and on the growth team, respectively. Both their LinkedIn profiles suggest that Hike and InstaLively are working in collaboration. InstaLively, in fact, is the parent company developing Pulse. Hike kept themselves unavailable for comment regarding this.
On the other hand, Tencent helped Hike become a billion-dollar company, leading a $175 million investment rounding at a valuation of $1.4 billion last year. Given that live-streaming is becoming a major growth generator for numerous leading companies, it is obvious that Hike would want to step up with the same using their connections with China through Tencent. Live streaming has been attracting the Chinese government censors through its popularity in recent times, leading them to clamp down on 3 of the popular services.
The hike is known to have heavily borrowed from tech trends in China. The company’s service receiving a major update in the last month led them to imitate the ‘red envelopes’ of WeChat by introducing ‘blue packets’ and an in-app wallet/payment feature. Furthermore, Hike even cloned Snapchat by adding stories to its own app in the previous year. Also, the year 2015 saw Hike acquiring the startup Zip Phone in its first M&A piece.
In spite of the aggressive product development of Hike, they are still observed to lag behind WhatsApp by some margin in the Indian markets. While India holds the largest market for WhatsApp with over 200 million users, Hike is so far yet to be loud enough to see growth in its user numbers. January 2016 was the last time Hike came out publicly regarding this, after crossing 100 million registered users.