Hike, which pivoted from instant messaging roots earlier this year, on Tuesday said it has secured fresh funds, even as it continues to bet on social, gaming and crypto.
The round was led by Tinder co-founders Justin Mateen and Sean Rad and joined by SoftBank Vision Fund’s chief executive officer Rajeev Misra, Tribe Capital co-founder Arjun Sethi; Zeta co-founder Bhavin Turakhia; Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal; and Cred founder Kunal Shah, among others.
Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Kumar Bansal also participated in this round.
Before this fundraise, Hike had raised $175 million in Series D funding led by internet giant Tencent and manufacturing firm Foxconn. The round had valued the company at $1.4 billion.
According to the company, this latest round of funding will be deployed to expand on Hike’s product strategy along with enabling high-quality hiring across functions.
At present, Hike operates a fully remote cross-functional team of over 160 employees who are working remotely from over 50 cities. It is hiring talent across roles at the intersection of social, gaming, and crypto.
“We’re thrilled to have some of the world’s most iconic product builders and investors join us in our journey. The rapid technological evolution over the last few years has paved the way for massive disruption in social and gaming. There’s little to separate these two categories. Gaming is now inherently social, evolving into a new way for people to hang out and interact in the virtual world,” said Kavin Bharti Mittal, founder and CEO, Hike.
Earlier in January this year, Mittal announced that the company will be shutting its eight-year-old instant messaging app Hike. Instead, the company has shifted focus towards its community-based product HikeLand and rebranded it to ‘Vibe by Hike’. Vibe provides a virtual space for individuals to interact and watch content with other users having similar interests.
Hike also announced its pivot towards virtual gaming by launching ‘Rush’, a new bite-sized gaming service for its users.
In January, Mittal blamed western messaging apps and strong ‘global network effects’ for shutting down Hike’s instant messaging platform.
“We’ve been doing what we know best - building. We’ve been building new ways for people to express themselves online, building new ways for them to hang out online. More importantly, we are building new ways for people to participate in the networks they help build, in ways that weren’t possible before,” said Mittal.
“The next decade is going to spawn a whole new social future and we’re so excited to be contributing to this future with our incredible list of new investors,” Mittal added.