Hoccer, a Berlin-based messaging app startup, has announced a €50 million funding round led by Dirk Stroer, founder and CEO of Media Ventures GmbH in Cologne. With only 15 employees, Hoccer is now valued at €100 million. A significant portion of the deal is media for equity, though how much exactly was not disclosed. This investment gives Stroer 51% ownership in the company.
Hoccer is the creator of Hoccer Classic and Hoccer XO. Hoccer Classic allows users to transmit data through a secure wireless connection, while Hoccer XO is the messaging app. In an interview, Hoccer CEO Jérôme Glozbach de Cabarrus explains that the two apps will soon be combined, which he says will give the app a unique selling proposition – another reason why Stroer chose to invest.
Hoccer presents itself as an alternative to WhatsApp among multiple other messaging apps including Telegram, Threema and Line. Media Ventures claims Hoccer is different in that it guarantees the security and anonymity of its users. Stroer is convinced that the messaging trends are in Hoccer’s favor stating that “the demand for secure messaging apps will increase exponentially in the future.”
Glozbach de Cabarrus, however, explains that he does not see Hoccer as a competitor to WhatsApp: “We want to open with our app a completely new market in addition to the B2C market – the B2B sector. WhatsApp is not in it at the moment.”
Hoccer reports that it grew by 2.5 million downloads in February. If Hoccer can make its mark in the world of B2C app messaging, however, is yet to be seen. In comparison, Telegram grew by 5 million users the day after WhatsApp experienced a service outage. When asked about other competitors such as Swiss messaging app Threema, Glozbach de Cabarrus maintains that the new combined app will have multiple unique features. He hopes that this along with the advertising made possible by Media Ventures will “make the €100 million valuation look small.”