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6 firms create new Desi WhatsApp unicorn with $175m China-led investment

"India has a new tech unicorn. Hike, a four-year-old messaging app, today announced that it has closed $175 million in funding led by new investors Chinese internet giant Tencent and manufacturing firm Foxconn. The Series D round values the company at $1.4 billion, founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal confirmed to TechCrunch,” reported Techcrunch.

Existing investors Tiger Global, Bharti and SoftBank also participated in the round to fund the WhatsApp clone, which was started in a joint venture between Bharti and SoftBank.

AZB & Partners acted for Hike with a team led by partner Rachit Bahl, senior associates Rohan Bagai, Tanvi Sinha and Varun Lamba, and associates Atima Mukherjee, Shagun Badhwar and Shobhika Upadhyay, as first reported by Bar & Bench.

Platinum Partners Delhi partner Gaurav Desai acted for both Tencent and Foxconn, with associates Ravina Mahajan and Debanshu Khettry.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas Mumbai corporate and private clients partner Rishabh Shroff acted for existing investor Softbank, which restructured and re-financed its Singapore based joint venture with Bharti Enterprises (Bharti Softbank Holdings Pte Ltd) and its impact on the existing investment in its subsidiary Hike, according to the firm’s press release.

Outside India, Latham & Watkins Hong Kong partner Ji Liu acted for Tencent, while Sidley Austin Hong Kong foreign legal consultant Vivek Baid represented Foxconn.

Softbank drafted in Herbert Smith Freehills on non-Indian law aspects, with London partner Chris Parsons, and Singapore corporate partner Mark Robinson and associate Victor Chiew.

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