WhatsApp and Nimbuzz better hold on tight because there is yet another contender threatening the cross-platform messaging apps’ positions – hike. While the app has been slowly creeping into phones on various platforms, it has emerged that the home-grown hike has managed to raise $7 million investment from Bharti SoftBank, (BSB) a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and the Japanese Operator SoftBank Corp.

Only last week hike announced that within four months of its launch, it had accumulated 5 million subscribers. Developed by Bharti SoftBank, hike launched globally in December 2012 and has been an instant hit. What sets hike apart is that it integrates text messaging for contacts that don’t have smartphones. According to the company, this SMS integration has resulted in a great surge in adoption of hike in India. Additionally, hike allows users to send free instant messages to contacts anywhere in the world as well as share location and multimedia content.

The investment is strong with this one!

The investment is strong with this one!

The makers of the app say that 60 percent of its user base is from India followed by the Middle East and Europe. The fledgling app hike seems to be following the footsteps of Nimbuzz who has 150 million subscribers in 200 countries worldwide, mainly in India and the Middle East.

Talking about the refreshed investment, Mike Kayamori, Director, BSB said “The traction for hike has been phenomenal, especially in such a competitive market. This new round of investment is an endorsement, of the great work put in by the entire team.”

Kavin Bharti Mittal, Head of Product and Strategy, BSB, added, “We are thrilled by the phenomenal response we've received over the last couple of months. Crossing such a milestone such a short time, in is no small feat.” He further addes “In particular, it’s great to see that our users love the beautiful user interface and the seamless integration between data messaging and SMS. We're also extremely excited to announce hike 2.0 which brings some amazing new features to our amazing users”

Keeping in line with the focus on building innovative features like SMS integration, the developers will soon be bringing a big update to the app called hike 2.0. This update brings with it Status Updates and Moods that lets users customise their profile daily. Additionally, the app will allow users to set a “Circle of Friends”, who will all be notified about new status updates and broadcasts.

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