In a Rush: Hike associates survival with real money games
âYou know, honestly, it looks a lot like 2015,â says Kavin Bharti Mittal, during a video call with The Ken. Mittal is the Founder and CEO of Hike, a Delhi-based startup most famous for its eponymous courier service. The comparison is praise – 2015 was the year Hike apparently had the world at his feet.
The choppy young messaging app – born as an Indian challenge to the dominance of WhatsApp – had grown from the very beginning in December 2012 to 65 million users. Enough for Hike to dream of overthrowing the Global Goliaths. And in 2015, that dream was starting to come true. The hike had traction. It was in an exciting market. This is where Mittal thinks he is once again.
But it is no longer a courier service. In his current avatar, Hike’s business is real-money casual gaming through his app, Rush, which launched in January 2021.
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According to Indian gaming fund Lumikai and research firm RedSeer, revenue from real money games is expected to reach $ 3.7 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 35-40%, up from 1.2 billion dollars currently. It is by far the most lucrative segment of India’s gaming market, which is expected to reach $ 7 billion by 2026.
A year after its launch, Mittal claims that Rush’s user base has grown significantly. âWe started it, like, twelve months ago. Even we’re really surprised; it’s growing really fast.
Mittal is sharp and alert, his eyes rarely breaking contact with the camera. His responses are quick, almost practiced, but delivered with a sincerity that should disarm most apprehensions. At only 34 years old, Mittal is already a seasoned veteran of the startup ecosystem in India.
It smoothly bypasses the disclosure of actual user base size or typical industry metrics like daily or monthly active users. Instead, Mittal offers us two stats. The platform recorded more than 50 million games each quarter, with growth of around 30% month over month. “I think we now do 100 million transactions every six months,” he adds, “with 30-40% month-over-month growth.”
Mittal’s emphasis on traction could be forgiven. Its rivals in space, the
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