Hike Messenger buys US-based Zip Phone

Hike Messenger buys US-based Zip PhoneChat Application, Hike Messenger has acquired US-based voice calling app Zip Phone, marking its first acquisition. However, the financial detail of the deal has not been disclosed.

Hike is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Softbank that was launched in 2012. Hike has over 35 million users and has raised $86 million from Tiger Global and BSB till date.

Founded by Anuj Jain in the US, Zip Phone has developed a voice-calling app that works globally. It allows users to make and receive calls over internet.

“Zip Phone’s technology will allow us to bring free voice calling to the market much faster. Incidentally, this is one of the top requested features from our users as well,” said Kavin Bharti Mittal, founder and chief executive of Hike. He is the son of Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder of Airtel.

“As a startup enthusiast, I had been keeping a close eye on Hike and its developments and I am excited to now be a part of one of the biggest and fastest-growing startups in the Indian Internet space,” said Jain of Zip Phone.

This acquisition comes at a time when Bharti Airtel had made an abortive bid to charge consumers for making VoIP (voice over internet protocol) calls made through OTT players such as Viber and Skype.

Further, the Zip Phone acquisition fuels consolidation in the messaging and calling app space, which recently saw the acquisition of Nimbuzz by UK-based internet service provider New Call Telecom. Nimbuzz has 200 million users, mainly in India and the Middle Eastern-Africa region.