Hike acquires Bangalore-based hardware startup Creo

Hike Messenger

Hike Messenger, a cross-platform instant messaging service, has announced the acquisition of Bengaluru-based startup Creo, a startup that makes hardware products.

The startup was founded by Sai Srinivas Kiran G and Shubham Malhotra in December 2013. Hike was already associated with Creo as the company became part of a mentoring programme run by Hike CEO and founder Kavin Bharti Mittal.

In the past, the startup had launched hardware products that include streaming media dongles (Teewee and Teewe 2) and a smartphone – Mark 1.

Hike spokesperson has said that the Creo team will begin work on a developer platform to enable third party developers to build services on the Hike platform.

The Creo team constitutes over 50 members and as per the reports, this was an acqui-hire, meaning that all the team members will now be working for Hike.

On its website, Creo announced:

To build our next product, we need all the focus and good luck we can. Owing to this, we will no longer be making new CREO Mark1 devices or releasing any software updates. The Creo customer helpline, the CREO Facebook page and Twitter handles will also be available until 1st March 2018.

Hike Messenger started operation in 2012, has now claims to have acquired a user base of over 100 million. In August 2016, Hike raised its fourth round of funding of $175 million led by Tencent and Foxconn at a valuation of $1.4 billion, making it the fastest company in the India to attain a valuation of $1 billion.

Interestingly, founders of Creo — Sai Srinivas Kiran G and Shubham Malhotra, are former Hike employees, while Hike CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal is one of its investors.

This deal marks Hike’s third acquisition. Earlier, in 2015, the company acquired WiFi calling startup Zip Phone and live-streaming company Pulse.