Hike Messenger acquires Zip phone, gears up to launch free voice calling

mmadhankumar

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Homegrown chat application Hike messenger today announced its first acquisition of US-based free voice-calling company, Zip Phone, with an aim to expand product range in the internet-based communication space.

Zip Phone, a one-man startup founded by Anuj Jain in the US, has developed a voice calling app, which works globally.

Interestingly, the company was also part of the revered Y Combinator list Summer Batch (2014).

Commenting on the acquisition, Kavin Bharti Mittal, founder and CEO, hike messenger, said: “From day one we’ve strongly believed that through communication, we can bring India online. With the acquisition we take one more step towards that mission. Zip Phone’s technology will allow us to bring free voice calling to the market much faster.”

“As a start-up enthusiast, I had been keeping a close eye on Hike and its developments and I am excited to now be a part of one of the biggest and fastest growing startups in the Indian Internet space and finally, building for India,” said Anuj Jain.

Launched in December 2012, Hike has over 35 million users and has raised $86 million from Tiger Global and BSB till date.

Competing with the likes of global players like WhatsApp, LINE and Viber, the app boasts of a fairly young user base with over 90 per cent of its users being under the age of 25 and residing in India.

The chat application has localised features, which are developed keeping in mind the infrastructural and cultural requirements such as Hike Offline, which lets you message your friends even when they’re offline and Regional Stickers that helps users express more in their own language, among many others.


Kavin Bharti Mittal’s Hike Messenger acquires Zip phone, gears up to launch free voice calling | The Financial Express
 

Siva

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Hike is in a way owned by Bharti group. One side they are trying to charge users separately for the Internet used for VOIP calls and the other side they are introducing VOIP calls in their own app!! There's so much greed involved in this, really fishy!!
 

Siva

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Hike messenger could soon bring voice-calling feature to the app

After reports that WhatsApp will be launching a voice-calling feature soon, we’ve managed to get screenshots of how India-based instant messenger Hike will also be adding such a feature to its service.

The news comes after Hike recently acquired US-based voice-calling company Zip Phone for an undisclosed amount. Zip Phone, a one-man startup founded by Anuj Jain in the US, is a voice-calling app that works globally.

According to sources, Hike Messenger’s voice-calling feature could be coming very soon to the app, within the next few days. The service will be optimised for 2G networks in India as well as trying to ensure minimum bandwidth usage so that data costs don’t go through the roof.

Hike’s voice-calling. which will require Internet access, shall be more data efficient and thus work well even on networks where Internet connectivity is poor. Given how poor and patchy Internet connectivity still remains for many in the country, this feature of Hike could make it stand-out from the crowd. The service will be available globally. Hike has officially refused to confirm these rumours.

The voice-calling feature on messaging apps is something we might hear about a lot in 2015. Facebook-owned WhatsApp had revealed plans to launch the feature last year but that didn’t happen. Interestingly it was reported that one of the reasons for the delay was because WhatsApp was finding ways to implement voice calling services in areas where Internet connectivity is poor because 3G services and Wi-Fi access is restricted in many parts of the world and consequently 2G services are still more important.

Another screenshot of what the Hike feature will look like.

In December, however, screenshots with WhatsApp’s voice-calling feature were leaked. The screenshots showed that the calling and chatting functionality will appear on separate screens. Call logs, dialling and contacts screen were also seen in the leaked screenshots. Another interesting feature that is rumoured in WhatsApp is call-recording and playback. What is unclear is whether these features on the app will be paid or whether users will have to start paying for WhatsApp once the new features are rolled out. More recently another report claimed that WhatsApp will integrate ‘Call via Skype’ feature to its app.

While WhatsApp remains one of the most popular apps across the world,  Hike has also done fairly well. The Indian-app managed to crossed 35 million users since it’s launch in December 2012 which is quite impressive for a new brand in a highly-competitive market.

“India has almost a 100 million active mobile Internet users and that number is growing rapidly every year. That’s the market, which we’re building for. The rate at which hike messenger has grown in the last 18 months is phenomenal and is a strong testament of the right direction in which the product is steering,” Hike messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal had said in a statement when the app had crossed the 20 million mark.

While WhatsApp has close to 700 million users, up from the 600 million in August 2014, Hike in India has proved to be quite a worthy competitor. The Indian smartphone user has apps like WeChat, Viber, Line, SnapChat, which are all offering instant message via Internet. Viber, Line, already offer free voice-calling over Internet. It remains to be seen how Hike’s user base will grow once this feature is rolled out.

http://m.tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/exclusive-hike-messenger-could-soon-add-voice-calling-feature-to-the-app-249980.html
 
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Hike is very good. We can send pdf files. Whats app has not this service
 
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