India’s Hike Messenger raised more than $175 million in its largest funding round to date, with backers including Tencent and Foxconn.
Other participants include existing investors Bharti Airtel, SoftBank and Tiger.
Kavin Mittal, founder and CEO of Hike (and son of Bharti Airtel chief Sunil Mittal), said the new funding will be used “to allow us to push Hike to greater heights and invest in areas that will be key to our long term vision and success”.
The round gives it a total valuation of close to $1.4 billion. Hike said it is now “one of the most valuable internet companies in India”, and has raised $250 million in total from four rounds of investment.
The messaging app had a user base of 100 million as of January this year, with 95 per cent based in India.
“Hike users, on an average, exchange 40 billion messages per month and spend 120 minutes per week using the platform,” the company said in a statement.
Speaking of Tencent’s involvement, president Martin Lau added: “With our investment, Hike will be able to leverage our deep domain expertise in the messaging platform space to provide more value to its users in India.”
Hike mainly competes with Facebook-owned Whatsapp in India.