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What happened to Hike Messenger? Here are the reasons for its failure!


Hike Messenger also called Hike Sticker Chat was an Indian freeware, cross-platform instant messaging, voice over IP application that was available in 10 languages.

Hike was launched on 12 December 2012 by Kavin Bharti Mittal and is owned by Hike Private Limited. With plenty of low-cost data, Hike decided to switch from a single super app strategy to a multiple-app approach, so that it can focus more on the core messaging capabilities. They also have numerous Hikemoji Stickers which can be customized accordingly.

All New Hike Messenger

Before diving into its failure analysis let’s understand its working and business model.


How does Hike Messenger work?

  1. Download Hike:  First download the app from the Google Play Store or iOS Play Store and then connect it with your phone number.
  2. Messaging: After connecting with your number, you can message your contacts by tapping on the message option.
  3. Send Stickers: You can also send stickers that are available on the left of the message option.
  4. Attach the files: If you want to attach the files then you can click on that spiral option that is there at the top of the bar.
  5. Audio: One can send an audio message by pressing the audio option.
  6. Call: Call is another feature one could enjoy, by clicking on the call button. And it will not charge from the normal balance but will charge from the data balance available on your phone.

Business Model:

Key Partners:

Hike announced Intex Technologies and Karbonn Mobiles as the device partners whereas BSNL and Aircel are Telecom service providers.

Key Activities:

Hike is known for messaging and calling your contacts and getting in touch without any roaming cost but data balance. Hiking has so many activities like Nature Drawing, Scavenger Hunts, and Rainbow Hunt Game; one can keep a hiking journal, etc.

Key Resources:

Hike can give you too many services on its app, where you can find many resources to connect with your contacts and share your chit-chats and ideas thereby in so many ways.

Value propositions:

Hike has many value propositions such as one can use the app anywhere, there will be no trouble for the customers or users of Hike as one can send the messages in the offline mode also, Hike acts as a bridge between the contacts as you can talk, message everyone from just your phone and that too with no phone roaming message. So, Hike carries too many value propositions with it.

Customer Relationship:

Hike always takes care of its customers by providing them services 24×7, hearing their problems, and answering them, there is also a FAQ option on the website of Hike to solve the problems of the customers.

Customer Segments:

The initial target of Hike was capturing 15%-20% of the youth population in India. It also wanted a wider base from tier 1 and tier 2 cities since maximum growth was coming from Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur.


Hike was connected with the customers through its website or on the toll-free number. There the company resolves customers’ problems and introduces them to new updates if available.

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Cost Structure:

Hike charges 0 Rs. for the use of the customers, Hike cost structure has an operational cost, technical cost, and human cost but Hike charges no money from the users.

Revenue Streams:

Hike is making money in the US, as the app is free for the first year and then it charges a $1 per year subscription though the initial app download is free. Hike was not earning but it is actually investing in the app to achieve the goals for the long-term strategy.

Hike’s operating revenue was reduced by 96% to a mere Rs. 13,000 during the fiscal year 2020 as compared to Rs. 3.5 lakh in the fiscal year 2019, data sourced from regulatory filings show. The company also earned another Rs. 12 crores through financial instruments which made up most of its collections for the financial year 2020.

Valuation, expenses, and revenue:

Hike Messenger was valued at $1.6 billion in 2016. The operating revenue of Hike in 2020 was Rs. 13000, showing a 96% reduction as compared to the previous year.

Investor’s Details and Funding:

Hike’s total funding was $1.4 billion and it became the youngest startup in India to reach unicorn status. There were many investors in Hike, some of them are Tencent, Bharti Enterprises, SoftBank, Foxconn Technology Group, Tiger Global Management, Devon T Rogers, etc. Now, let us see the graph of funding history:

Hike Messenger funding

What caused Hike Messenger’s failure?

Hike’s founder Kavin Bharti Mittal tweeted about shutting down the Indian messenger, in January 2021.

Now, the question is why Hike failed, and what was the reason behind that. So, there is more than one factor that led to the failure of the sticker chat app.

The reasons that failed Hike the Indian Messenger:

  • Hiring Mistakes are made by the company
  • Too Many Features in the app and the lack of USP(i.e. Unique Selling Proposition)
  • Fast Evolution
  • Lack of User Retention
  • The domination of WhatsApp in the market

Hike Messenger had hidden mode, Hike offline, two-way chat themes, news updates, cricket scores, games, and whatnot, except having just one feature that could actually make Hike irreplaceable.

And that’s the reason why Hike couldn’t develop its Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and in the end, failed to survive.

  • Too Fast Evolution for Users

The second reason why Hike failed, is because they were growing extremely fast. The company was introducing one feature in a quarter which is quite fast as when people understand one feature they launch the other and the users become overwhelmed and give up on it.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp was moving slowly and steadily with its last-seen and status updates features, and users find it less chaotic comparatively. And these are all the reasons why Hike failed.

Currently, Team Hike is focussing on other products in its portfolio Vibe, HikeLand, and Rush. We wish them good luck on those!

Hike vibe and Hike Rush

Do Share Your Thoughts:

Do tell us all your thoughts in the comments section below, we look forward to reading all the comments in the section below.

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Related Articles:

What was Hike Messenger?

Hike Messenger also called Hike Sticker Chat was an Indian freeware, cross-platform instant messaging, Voice-over IP application that was available in 10 languages.

Who founded Hike Messenger?

Hike was launched on 12 December 2012 by Kavin Bharti Mittal and is now owned by Hike Private Limited.

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