Hike’s Focus on User Engagement, Not on Scale: Kavin Mittal

  • Hike, the messenger app backed by Tiger Global and Softbank is trying to generate more content to increase engagement with its over 100 million users. It is also focusing on video to take on a rival, WhatsApp.
  • Kavin Mittal, Founder, has said that the focus of the current year and of 2017 will be to convert 100 million to 200 million users and about how the market is shifting. He says a lot of Hike was built backward, but now is being built forwards.
  • Kavin wants to make the app a one-stop spot for all activities. Thus, the company is focusing on generating content apart from already available coupons, games, news, etc.
  • Hike already rolled out a video calling feature for Android phones last week and iOS users are expected to have it in a couple of weeks, while Facebook-owned WhatsApp is still in the beta phase of testing its video calling feature.
  • People prefer visual and audio communication more than texting. Beyond 100 million, everything has to happen visually, this is what Kavin thinks. The hike is also scouting for start-ups it can work with.
  • The hike is fortunate to have a home market of 1.3 billion people and hence the focus, for now, would remain India. Once it has proved itself in India, only then the company would look at other emerging markets.
  • The hike is the newest entrant into the unicorn club from India. It recently raised $175 million from Tencent Holdings and it has enough reserves to last for 3 years.