India's only homegrown chat application Hike has announced today that it has acquired US-based and Y Combinator-backed voice-calling startup Zip Phone for an undisclosed amount. This is Hike's first ever acquisition 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 this."

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."

Launched in December 2012, 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.

Hike's Journey:

  • Dec, 2012: Global launch

  • Feb 2013: Messaging traffic grows 10X week on week

  • April 2013: Hits the first 5M user milestone in just 4 months of its launch  | Raised $7M from BSB

  • June 2013: Stickers are on hike!

  • Aug 2013: Digital ad campaign goes live

  • Nov 2013: Co-creation exercise with users – including real-time feedback from the users for product development

  • Dec 2013: Hike turns 1 year old! Launches two-way Chat Themes

  • Feb 2014: Hit the 15M user mark

  • April 2014: Receives $14M fresh funding from BSB

  • June 2014: Crossed 20M user mark, launched TVC

  • July 2014: Hit #1 rank on App stores

  • August 2014: Crosses 35M user mark, receives $65M fresh funding led by Tiger Global

  • November 2014: Regional stickers on hike!

  • January 2015: Acquired voice-calling company Zip Phone


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