Hike gets fresh $65M funding to take on WhatsApp in India

Free messaging app Hike, the Indian answer to WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat, has just raised its largest round of funding: US$65 million led by Tiger Global Management. Bharti SoftBank (BSB), a joint venture of Bharti Enterprises and Japan’s Softbank Corporation, also participated in the latest round. Earlier, Hike had raised US$7 million in 2013, and another US$14 million in April 2014 from BSB.

http://www.techinasia.com/hike-raises-65-million-funding-tiger-global/

TRAI decides against charging WhatsApp, Viber customers

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided against a proposal of carriers to charge customers for using popular messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and others. The carriers had proposed to make companies that offer these popular services share part of their revenue with them or the government. The Trai has also shelved plans to initiate a consultation process as it feels that operators are able to offset their losses through growth in data revenue.

http://www.ciol.com/ciol/news/219191/trai-decides-charging-whatsapp-viber-customers

WhatsApp doubles its numbers in India in past 6 months, now has 50 million active users

WhatsApp is reinforcing its stance as the world’s top messaging app today with a bunch of new numbers that show how it’s still growing. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) owned WhatsApp now has 500 million monthly active users (MAUs) and, according to its blog, the app has “grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia.”

http://www.techinasia.com/whatsapp-india-active-users-50-million/

3 ways WhatsApp can help Facebook grow

The internet was abuzz with major acquisitions in recent weeks ranging from Viber’s acquisition by Rakuten to the WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook. In particular there has been significant commentary on how the WhatsApp acquisition may create growth for Facebook. From TNS’ point of view – we know growth comes in different flavors. Take new user acquisition for example: it makes a whole lot of sense for Facebook if WhatsApp users belong to a younger generation, as this segment typically represents active and engaged social media users.Using data from TNS Mobile Life 2013, we will explore three dimensions of acquired growth for WhatsApp and Facebook under this new relationship.

http://www.techinasia.com/3-ways-whatsapp-facebook-grow/

Battling WhatsApp in India, Hike grows to 15 million users

There’s even more focus on messaging apps this week after Facebook’s buy-up of WhatsApp. The acquisition has also highlighted the many strong alternatives that there are to WhatsApp, especially across Asia, such as Line, Viber, KakaoTalk, and WeChat, who collectively have over a billion registered users. Some Asian nations have homegrown challengers as well. In India there’s Hike app. It launched in September 2012. Kavin Mittal, from the Bharti Softbank (BSB) incubator that runs Hike, tells us that Hike has now grown to 15 million registered users. Mittal says that number has grown by a factor of three in the past nine months.

http://www.techinasia.com/hike-app-reaches-15-million-users-mostly-in-india/

WhatsApp “free” usage could change very soon in Indonesia

Amidst the huge news surrounding Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp today, there’s one thing that Indonesians such as me are asking: “Will WhatsApp still be free here?” Yes, you can use WhatsApp for over a year and it’s still free in Indonesia, with no need to pay the usual annual subscription fee. I am one of WhatsApp’s users in Indonesia who, thanks to the company’s kindness, has not paid a dime so far. I’ve been using WhatsApp for free for over a year on my Windows Phone. Among all the friends I’ve asked today, a lot of them haven’t paid anything for WhatsApp either on other platforms like iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. A couple of my friends say they received notifications instructing them to pay, but then when the deadline passed, they received another notification saying that their “grace period” had been extended.

http://www.techinasia.com/whatsapp-payment-free-indonesia/