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Hike eyes more funds in 2019

Simplifying the app will be the prime focus

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MUMBAI: Home-grown messaging app and India’s WhatsApp rival Hike has shut down its Total app which was launched in January 2018 as the company wants to just focus on keeping it simple for the masses, and will go back to the basics as a strategic move.

Now, according to an ET Telecom report, Hike is eyeing more funds in 2019 and will start experimenting with monetisation models from 2020. The app will now primarily focus on messaging and stickers and will withdraw from other services such as payments.

Since there is an interest on the consumer side in the country for short videos apps, the company is also expected to launch a separate app for content which may be on the same pages as video creating and sharing app Tiktok.

As reports go, Hike did a lot of experimenting in the last year and half and added stuff at the cost of something else. As in the world of internet, things are very dynamic and products evolve quickly and in many cases, these products evolve away from the core. Therefore, Hike has decided to focus on its core which is to be ‘social’.

So far, Hike has raised $261 million from investors, which includes Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd, manufacturing company Foxconn Technology Group and the Bharti Group.

Since its last fundraiser which was in the fourth quarter of 2016, it raised $175 million by led by Tencent and Foxconn at the valuation of $1.4 billion. Most of the funds from the last fundraiser remain available in hands of the company but in late 2019 or 2020, it will look to raise more funds.

Like the last time where the company went on to explore in multiple directions and lost focus on its essential and core in order to evolve the product is something it will avoid doing with the raised funds in future.

The idea here is to “focus on to simplifying the applications”, Hike will focus on stickers and voice and with that it will continue to work on privacy as a feature through its encryption technology in India.

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