India’s homegrown Instant Messaging company hike has reportedly bought Zip Phone a free voice calling company. This move is aimed at increasing the foothold in the Internet ecosystem.
To set the context right, Zip phone was a one man startup founded by Anuj Jain in US. The Voice calling application also made to the Y combinator list Summer batch last year. This acquisition will help hike to integrate the voice calling service into their application so that it becomes a full fledged communication tool using Internet ecosystem.
Mr Kavin Bharti said that “From day one we’ve strongly believed that through communication, we can bring India online. With the acquisition we take one more step towards that mission. 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. We can’t wait to launch this on hike.”
hike was launched in December 2012 and quickly caught up with the users and the initial bait they used was a pay per install system wherein every user who installed the application got Rs.20 talktime for referrals. They were also the first one to come up with regional stickers that render a desi touch to the application. It is the only IM application which lets you message your friends without an Internet connection.
The recent acquisition shows how startups have been buying other smaller startups instead of starting from scratch when it comes to adding new technology. We could observe the same phenomena when Facebook acquired Whatsapp almost a year ago for a whopping sum of money.