Connect with us

Business

India’s rival to WhatsApp messenger raises $175M, valued at $1.4B

Published

on

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — India’s answer to the popular messaging app WhatsApp, named Hike, today announced it has closed a $175 million funding round led by new investors Chinese internet giant Tencent and manufacturing firm Foxconn. The Series D funding of the four-year-old company gives it a valuation of $1.4 billion, founder and chief executive Kavin Bharti Mittal has revealed.

Tencent, the company which pioneered messaging with WeChat, is the name that should stand out. However, existing investors such as Tiger Global, Bharti and SoftBank also took part in the round, which takes Hike to more than $250 million raised to date. Hike added some strategic investors in the U.S. to its roster earlier this year, but its last major funding was experienced during the Series C round when it raised $65 million.

Hike founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal

Hike founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal

“Hike deeply understands India; a highly diverse market with many nuances. It is on a mission synergistic to ours, which is to enhance the quality of human life through internet services. With our investment, Hike will be able to leverage our deep domain expertise in the messaging platform space to provide more value to its users in India,” Tencent President Martin Lau said in a prepared statement.

Creating out of a joint-venture between Bharti and SoftBank, Hike includes the standard messaging app features you’d expect, as well as free voice calling and a few other twists. Hike has put an extreme emphasis on local users with features that include a privacy option to hide chat messages, in case a nosey relative gets hold of your phone as can happen in India. It also gives users the ability to send an SMS message to those who aren’t using the Hike app.

Targeting the younger demographic has been paramount in the company’s marketing campaigns.

However, WhatsApp presents itself as a huge challenge.

The Facebook-owned company is already the dominant chat application in India, with more than 100 million active users in the country. That’s equal to around one-tenth the country’s total userbase. Hike announced earlier this year that it has over 100 million registered users, but that could simply represent people who have downloaded the app that aren’t using it. Ninety percent of those users are under the age of 30, with 40 billion messages exchanged on the service each month, according to its last release.

Despite its worldwide domination, Hike’s chief executive is certain the company can position itself to become more competitive in the market.

“Every market has two messaging apps that do well,” he said. “There’s one that replaces SMS and one that does a lot more than that. Hike doesn’t even compete with WhatsApp today, it is used very actively in addition to other apps.”

The company is generally upbeat about its future, Bharti Mittal explained that the internet and mobile are still in their infancy in India.

“The very large niche that we’ve covered is only going to get bigger because 500 million more people are coming online in India,” he said. “The path will look very different to the current market and what Hike has been these last few years. For the first time ever in India, we’re seeing 2G usage decline with 3G and 4G on the rise. The internet will be more pervasive and the market can change completely.”

Business

Former MGM executive Roma Khanna named Revolt TV’s next CEO

Former MGM executive Roma Khanna named Revolt TV’s next CEO

Published

on

By

Roma Khanna

Sean Combs Announces Roma Khanna CEO of Revolt TV

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — Sean Combs has announced Roma Khanna the CEO of Revolt TV.

“As Revolt continues to grow as a brand and expand globally, I knew we needed a seasoned executive with a proven track record to keep the momentum going and help me lead the network into the future,” said Combs. “Roma is that person. She has the experience and tenacity to build on Revolt’s success and as we continue to influence content and culture around the world.”

“After decades of building large-scale businesses in TV and media, I am excited to have the opportunity to work alongside visionary Sean Combs to get hands-on and redefine content models with a view to building a modern, relevant, global cultural brand,” said Khanna. “Revolt is ready to create and curate content and super-serve its audience on its own TV platform and beyond, living and breathing with its audience wherever they might be.”

Revolt says the company’s mission is to build on its platform to offer long- and short-form content revolving around hip-hop music and culture. According to Revolt’s website, “REVOLT is focused on expertly curating the best of the best in music and engaging youth in social conversation – on-air, on-line, on-demand. The multi-genre, multi-platform network offers breaking music news, videos, artist interviews, exclusive performances, and original programming.”

Revolt claims to have over 50 million young adult consumers through television, digital properties, social and mobile. REVOLT is accessible 24/7 – anytime, anywhere, any screen.

Khanna left MGM, where she served as president, in late 2015. She helped launch FX’s “Fargo” and History’s “Vikings.” She spent three years as president of global networks for NBC Universal’s international networks wing. She also oversaw the development of Hulu hit “Handmaid’s Tale.”

Revolt had been without a CEO for a year, since Keith Clinkscales left the company last August. Revolt launched as a linear channel in the U.S. in October 2013 and has since expanded to Africa and the Caribbean.

Continue Reading

Business

Indian American Physician Vas Narasimhan Named CEO of Novartis

Published

on

By

Vas Narasimhan

Indian American Physician Vas Narasimhan Named CEO of Novartis

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Switzerland-based biotech giant Novartis says Indian American physician Vas Narasimhan will take reins as CEO on Feb. 1.

The 41-year-old Narasimhan joined Novartis in 2005. He currently serves as the company’s Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer. He is also a member of Novartis’ Executive Committee.

“Both from a professional and a personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Vas,” said current Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez. “Our strong pipeline and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put Novartis on a strong path for the future. On the personal side, after 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the U.S. I’m confident that Vas will be an excellent successor.”

Joerg Reinhardt, chairman of the Novartis board of directors, said the company anticipates “a smooth transition, as Joe built a strong leadership team and mentored his successor.”

Narasimhan graduated from Harvard Medical School. He also has a master’s in public policy from the university’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He earned undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago.

Prior to joining Novartis, he worked at McKinsey & Company, first as a consultant and then as an engagement manager.

An elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, Narasimhan has held a number of positions at Novartis.

Reinhardt expressed confidence in Narasimhan’s ability to lead the company to “expected next growth phase … The strength of Novartis is our ability to drive science-based innovation. Vas is deeply anchored in medical science, has significant experience in managing the interfaces between Research and Development and commercial units and has strong business acumen with a track record of outstanding achievements. As a physician, he has a strong patient focus and a genuine humane perspective and care for the mission and values of Novartis. As a result, the Board of Directors is confident that Vas is the right choice to lead Novartis on our expected next growth phase, driving innovation and further strengthening our competitive position.”

Continue Reading

Business

Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya to raise $500M for a large fund

Published

on

By

Charmath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors is attempting to raise $500 million as he builds a large investment firm.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors is attempting to raise $500 million as he builds a large investment firm.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Palihapitiya is listed as CEO of “blank check company,” Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings. The company plans to raise $500 million in its IPO and subsequently acquire emerging private businesses that have little incentive to go public.

“Our mission is to create an alternative path to a traditional IPO for disruptive and agile technology companies to achieve their long-term objectives and overcome key deterrents to becoming public,” the filing said.

Palihapitiya has often condemned the traditional venture model and expressed his admiration for billionaire Warren Buffett, who erected Berkshire Hathaway into one of the World’s largest publicly-traded holding companies over a half century.

Social Capital is going to be more like a “bastard stepchild of Berkshire Hathaway and Blackstone and BlackRock” than a traditional venture firm, Palihapitiya said at an event in 2015.

One of Palihapitiya’s goals in the venture is bringing together “technologists, entrepreneurs, and technology-oriented investors,” the filing said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Palihapitiya’s team is planning to meet with investors soon, then initiating the IPO shortly thereafter on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hedosophia has offices in Hong Kong and London. Ian Osborne, CEO of Hedosophia, will be president of the new holding company. Former Skype CEO Tony Bates and former Twitter executive Adam Bain are among the Board members.

Palihapitiya spoke to Diya TV moments after the Warriors championship win in 2017

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.