Scaling Hike Messenger to 20M Users

As Facebook’s stunning $19 billion pending acquisition of WhatsApp shows, these are boom times for messaging apps. But while the upside is huge, it’s not an easy market to break into.

That’s why Hike Messenger’s ascent is so impressive. After just 15 months, the India-based company has amassed more than 20 million users and continues to grow rapidly.

With ad campaign under way in Hike’s native country, the company is poised for future growth. In an attempt to avoid the pitfalls that have felled other fast-growing startups, the company is planning for its future by employing MongoDB technology. “For us it was extremely important that we can start small and then grow big as we want to,” Rajat Bansal, CTO at the company, explained recently. “At any given point in time, as a technology honor, I make sure all my systems are scaled, at least five times if not more.”

It was also a plus that developers love working with MongoDB’s platform because it’s easy to ramp up and easy to use. As Bansal tells it, MongoDB was an integral part of Hike’s back-end technology, which was created by a very small team and was used by a fairly large number of customers.

As a small company (Hike had just four employees when it launched), Hike also leaned hard on MongoDB’s support. Bansal says the company was an early adopter of MongoDB interface support in 2013. Part of that support included health checks. Bansal says reps from MongoDB often visit the office and ask what Hike might be fine-tuning when it reaches 50 million or 75 million users. “That has helped us really avoid a lot of situations,” he says. “So instead of being reactive and scrambling around that time, we have been proactive and been able to scale very, very much on that front.”

With MongoDB backstopping for the inevitable hiccups that every startup faces, Hike was able to “scale up and scale up very fast,” Bansal says. “To summarize Hike’s story, it’s like start small, grow big and grow really fast,” he says.

Interesting in learning more about how Hike scaled on MongoDB? You can view Bansal's complete presentation from MongoDB World.

About to deploy? As Bansal explains, you can avoid common pitfalls by getting an official pre-production pistop from a MongoDB engineer.

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