Hike, the homegrown instant messaging app which is competing against WhatsApp, has acquired social networking application Pulse. This may mean that the company is looking to introduce live-streaming feature.
Pulse co-founders Karthik Vaidyanath and Prakhar Khanduja have now joined Hike Messenger. Their LinkedIn profile indicates that the the company was taken over in February this year.
This development was first reported by Inc42.
As part of the deal, Karthik Vaidyanath has joined Hike as director of engineering while Prakhar Khanduja is responsible for marketing and user growth.
Pulse, a social networking app, was launched in December 2015. It enables users to stay connected with their college and school communities.
The startup had secured angel money in early 2016 from number of investors including Google vice president, South East Asia & India, Rajan Anandan; InnerChef co-founder, and GSF Accelerator founder, Rajesh Sawhney; founder and CEO of People Group, Anupam Mittal; Star TV India CEO Uday Shankar; and Facebook director Anand Chandrasekaran.
In November last year, the company raised $500,000 (around Rs 3.4 crore) from venture and growth capital fund SAIF Partners.
Hike Messenger was founded in 2012 by Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal’s son Kavin Bharti Mittal. The company is part of a joint-venture initiative between Bharti and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.
Hike is ahead of WhatsApp when it comes to rolling out new features. It recently launched an in-app payment wallet, through which it seeks to gain early-mover advantage over rival WhatsApp. Last year, the company cloned Snapchat when it added stories.
The company entered the ‘unicorn’ club last year when China-based Tencent led a $175 million investment round at a valuation of $1.4 billion.
WhatsApp is currently dominating the IM market in India with over 200 million users. On the other hand, Hike has consistently stayed quiet on its user numbers. However, in January last year, the company publicly announced that it had crossed 100 million registered users on the platform.