Hike, the messaging app backed by SoftBank Group Corp. that aimed to compete towards WhatsApp on the planet’s second-most populous nation, shut down and vanished from app shops Monday.
The startup valued at $1.4 billion in a 2016 funding spherical introduced its app was going off the air earlier this month with out rationalization. The app began by billionaire-family scion Kavin Bharti Mittal has failed over a number of years to displace Fb Inc.’s rival app as India’s go-to venue for social media and cellular communications. The nation stays WhatsApp’s largest market globally.
Hike, backed additionally by Chinese language WeChat-operator Tencent Holdings Ltd., has in recent times ventured into adjoining areas reminiscent of no-frills telephones and expanded even into spheres reminiscent of cellular leisure. On Jan. 6, Mittal — son of Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of India’s No. 2 telecom service, Bharti Airtel Ltd. — introduced the closure of Hike StickerChat.
Its demise coincides with a rising international backlash amongst know-how consultants, privateness advocates, billionaire entrepreneurs and authorities organizations towards WhatsApp’s new coverage of reserving the suitable to share person knowledge with the broader Fb community.
Over the previous 12 months or extra, Mittal has steadily diversified Hike into social and virtual-mobile merchandise. His firm will proceed to develop its Vibe social media app and work on a brand new gaming product referred to as Rush, he wrote on Twitter.