(with inputs from Vivek Pai) Hike, a messaging service backed by Airtel* promoter group Bharti and Japanese investor group Softbank, has acquired a VoIP (Internet Telephony) startup called Zip Phone. This is Hike’s first acquisition, and the second one for Bharti-Softbank, which had earlier acquired a mobile coupons company Hoppr; after Hoppr's founders quit the company, it was expected to be merged into Hike. Previously, Hike had raised $65 million from Tiger Global and BSB. The company now claims to have crossed 35 million registered users worldwide, and claims that over 50% active every month. Around 90% of its users are from India and are below the age of 25 years. Why this is acquisition is interesting at this point in time The Zip Phone acquisition comes at a time when Airtel has taken a strong stance against Net Neutrality, and sliced off VoIP calling into separate VOIP packs, offering flimsy reasoning to justify the move. Airtel eventually backed off, following much ridicule, after forcing the TRAI's hand on announcing a consultation on net neutrality. According to Hike, voice calling is one of the top requested features by its users, and this acquisition will allow the company to launch free voice calling to users much sooner. This acquisition also means that the Bharti group now has two companies with VoIP capabilities: Airtel has Airtel Talk, while Hike can surely be expected to launch VoIP services. The two Bharti group companies appear to be working closely together. I've actually had an Airtel Customer Care executive explain to me how Hike…
- “Foreign state actor” may be responsible for the ransomware attack on AIIMS-Delhi: Report December 3, 2022
- Agenda: Reworking The Data Protection Bill, Delhi, 8th Dec #Ad December 3, 2022
- Why has the deadline to comply with UPI market share cap been extended by the NPCI? December 3, 2022
- India’s IT Minister on DPDP Bill: Law should be kept ‘simple’, subordinate rules won’t exceed Act December 3, 2022
- MIB approves ninth self regulatory body, PADMA, under the IT Rules, 2021 December 3, 2022
MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.
The Structure and Style of a Dogma Community: Conspiracy theories and organized Twitter engagement on Sushant Singh Rajput
Studying the 'community' supporting the late Sushant Singh Rajput (SSR) shows how Twitter was gamed through organized engagement
Do we have an enabling system for the National Data Governance Framework Policy (NDGFP) aiming to create a repository of non-personal data?
A viewpoint on why the regulation of cryptocurrencies and crypto exchnages under 2019's E-Commerce Rules puts it in a 'grey area'
India's IT Rules mandate a GAC to address user 'grievances' , but is re-instatement of content removed by a platform a power it should...
Why ‘group privacy’ should be recognised, and how ‘non-personal’ data becomes a regulatory blindspot
There is a need for reconceptualizing personal, non-personal data and the concept of privacy itself for regulators to effectively protect data
Please subscribe to MediaNama. Don't share prints and PDFs.
You May Also Like
Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...
135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...
Twitter takes down tweets from MP, MLA, editor criticising handling of pandemic upon government request
By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...