India’s leading messaging app Hike expects four-fold growth in per day customer acquisition rate by the end of 2019 with the launch of its new sticker-based chat app.
“There is so much happening in the company that Hike Sticker chat will become one of the two or three products that we have. Today we are adding 50,000 users per day. My goal is to get to a place where we are adding 3-4 times of that (by end of 2019),” Hike founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said.
As part of its strategy to launch multiple apps, Hike on Tuesday unveiled new mobile messaging platform that will be majorly based on chat in the form of stickers.
“We have 30,000 stickers. Challenge was to give right stickers to users at right time. We have integrated machine learning in the core of the app which will give the user option of sticker instantly based on their usage pattern. We will increase it to couple of 100 thousand by end of this year,” Mittal said.
He said Hike stickers at present cover only 15-20 per cent of vocabulary across over 40 languages in the country.
“We want to focus on Indian user base first. We will love to look at markets that resemble India but initial focus is on 15-20 per cent youth in India. This target market alone will be around couple of 100 of millions,” Mittal said.
He said the company has wide user base in tier 1 and 2 cities.
“Our highest user base is in Pune followed by Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Jaipur. Since 2016 we have been coming up with stickers. Through Hike sticker chat we want to reduce dependency on keyboard typing. Earlier, we used hand drawn stickers. Now machine learning has given us the capability to generate thousands of stickers every day,” Mittal said.
Hike has plans to launch separate apps for gaming and news in coming days.
“We will stick to the three pillars of our business–messaging, gaming and news. We will unbundle gaming and news also from the super app,” Mittal said.
Talking about funding needs for expansion, Mittal said that Hike has till date raised USD 261 million from SoftBank, Tiger Global, Tencent, Foxconn and Bharti Group.
“We have very low opex (operational expenditure) model. We remain sufficiently funded for next two and half year. Most of the fund of USD 175 million that we raised in August 2016 is still in bank,” Mittal said.