Reasons of failure of a billion dollar Start up “Hike Messenger”

Hike App was once valued 1.4 billion dollars, now completely shut down after 14th January,2021. Today we will discuss some reasons to understand the fall of this billion dollar start up of India which was considered once super app of India.

In 2012, hike messenger was started by Kavin Mittal son of Sunil Mittal. Sunil Mittal is the founder of telecom giant Airtel. Hike got 261 million dollars easily at first. They became a unicorn in 2016. In the peak time it has more than 35 million users. But they lost their huge customer base very quickly. 

It is an very interesting topic to discuss about a company which was very innovative did not sustain in market. Let discuss one by one.

Targeted a small niche:

They mainly focused to get customers of 18-25 age who are the most tech savy people. They got initial success to board a lot of youngsters in their app. But the problem is that every person need messenger to communicate. If you avoid a large chunk of audience in a messenger, it may be very risky decision for the app. Same happen with this hike messenger.

Many unwanted features:

As a messenger apps you would assume that you will get the feature of text, voice and video messaging in the apps. But the management of this app get so innovative they gave dozens of options like checklist, games, payments that a general public may confuse to use this app. This type of app get huge success in China as Facebook, Instagram is ban their but it is not the case in India.

Big App Size

It is very common that when you gave such number of options in your app, definitely the size of the app will be large. When its competitor Whatsapp managed to keep their size in 28 mb, hike messenger was of 75 mb which was larger in pre jio era. So people avoid this app and stick to Whatsapp. 

USP missing

Every company should have its own USP which is unique selling point. But this hike messenger did not have such USP. They become a aggregator app of facebook, whatsapp, snapchat but did not have any unique selling features other than their innovative stickers which was of no use after some time. Where its peer Whatsapp have very easy to use user interface which can be used by anyone, on the other hand hike can be used properly by only tech savy people in the country.

Absent of revenue model

Hike invested millions of dollars in their app, but they did not find any proper way to get revenue. It is certain that no matter how much valuation a company has, but if they can`t generate profit, that company is bound to fail. In case of hike first they thought they will generate income by the data usage of internet, but when Jio make data completely free, their business get completely destroyed. 

Although there was a huge back up of company like Airtel, this start up failed because all of the above reasons.

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