On January 6, Kavin Bharti Mittal, the founder of the eight-year-old Indian instant messenger Hike, tweeted that the app was starting the new year “with a bang” by bettering its social media platform and adding gaming to the gamut. Buried in that news was the fact that the company was retiring Sticker Chat, formerly Hike Messenger, which the flagship product of Mittal’s company for years.
Four days later once considered India’s answer to WhatsApp, Mittal announced, “India will not have its own messenger.”
This is quite surprising, given that Mittal spent several years promoting Hike Messenger as he believed that India will have two leading messaging app. “One is simple messaging, WhatsApp would be that company, the second is much more rich form of messaging,” the then 26-year-old entrepreneur had told Quartz in 2014. “We believe Hike is going to be the other one.”