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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hike Messenger Introduces Free Voice Calling


hike messenger, India’s only homegrown chat application, today introduces free ‘Hike Calls’. The introduction of this feature will allow hike users to call each other for free, over 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi and across the globe in over 200 countries. The introduction of hike calls has come in within a month of hike making it’s first acquisition - a free calling app – Zip Phone.

hike calls are optimized to consume very little data, giving its users more calling minutes per MB of data. Given that a majority of the mobile-internet users of India are still experimenting with data and are not on a high-bandwidth connection, this optimization becomes critical for the Indian market.

Commenting on the launch of the calling feature, Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, hike messenger, said “While building free hike calls, we kept two things in mind. Firstly, India is a very cost sensitive market and as a result we’ve ensured that our service is extremely efficient on data. It means our users can pack in more minutes per MB when calling on hike. Secondly, we’ve made hike’s free calling service available globally in over 200+ countries. Hikers from India can now speak with their loved ones in India and across the world for free.”

The free hike calling feature has been launched in beta on Android, which contributes to over 90% of hike’s user base. The iOS and Windows versions are slated to release by the end of this quarter.

Launched in December 2012, hike has over 35M users as in August, 2014: 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, Regional Stickers - helps users express more in their own language, amongst many others.

Additional information:
You can download the app at - http://get.hike.in/
Visit the Hike blog for more details on the new features -  http://hike.in/blog/

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
January 2015: Launches free Hike Calls services