Update: Kavin Bharti Mittal, the Head of Product & Strategy at BSB, and the CEO of Hike will also lead the Hoppr team.
Earlier (May 21): Both the founders of location-based deals service Hoppr, Mohammad Imthiaz and Kabeer Biswas, have left the company.
Imthiaz was the CEO, while Biswas was a co-founder and Director. Imthiaz resigned from the company on May 14 and confirmed the news of his exit to MediaNama, but refused to comment on his future plans and reason for his resignation. Biswas confirmed to MediaNama that he had left the company a left a couple of months ago “as the company had scaled”. He is currently working on a new startup idea in Bangalore. Madhusudan Nori, Kavin Bharti Mittal , Kariya Kayamori are the remaining directors of the company.
Imthiaz initially launched the project as Musstbuy and later shifted focus to check-in’s and daily deal offerings. It was launched in 2012 across 6 telcos (Airtel, Aircel, Idea, Reliance, Tata Docomo, and Vodafone).
Update: BSB spokesperson sent the following statement: “Having built and established Hoppr as an exciting product for the mobile, in a short span of four years, Imthiaz has decided to move on to pursue his interests outside of BSB. We would like to thank him for his immense contribution and wish him the very best for all his future endeavors. BSB is committed to growing Hoppr and will build on the foundation laid down by Imthiaz and his team.”
Integration of Hoppr into Hike?
Hoppr was one of the first investments by BSB. According to Y2CF’s filings with the Registrar of Companies, Bharti Softbank had purchased stake amounting to 49.74% for Rs 22,25,00,000 on 17.10.2011, with the option of subscribing subscribing to a maximum total share holding of 60%. That transaction was completed last year. With both the founders leaving Hoppr, it is not clear whether BSB has completely bought out their holdings in the company.
Sources have indicated to MediaNama that a merger between Hike (the instant messenger launched by BSB) and Hoppr is likely, with the location based deals service integrated into the instant messenger application. Hoppr operates out of Hike/BSB’s premises in Gurgaon. Biswas declined to comment on talks of Hoppr and Hike being merged. At the time of filing this report, Kavin Bharti Mittal, the Head of Product & Strategy at BSB, and the CEO of Hike was not available for comment. Jagrith Choudhary, GM and head of Marketing took our call, but is yet to respond to queries on who’s taking over from Imthiaz at Hoppr, and on the potential integration of Hoppr into Hike.