Canadian messaging app Kik has raised another $50 million (£32m), and has thus increased its value to $1 billion.
That means the company has joined the exclusive club of privately-owned start-ups with a valuation of at least $1 billion – there are more than 120 of those now, according to CBS Insights.
According to a report by UK’s Business Insider, Kik's $50 million raise comes from the Chinese parent company of WeChat — Tencent — which now means that Kik won't be rushing to expand into China.
It will leave that market to China, “while pursuing a "partnership" that allows the two apps to share resources and data.”
"Right from the start, Tencent was at the top of the list. As the maker of QQ and WeChat, it was clear they understood chat deeply, making them a great sounding board," Kik founder and CEO Ted Livingston wrote on Medium. "They had significant success and resources, allowing them to have the patience required for Kik to pursue a long-term vision for a chat-based ecosystem. And with so much of their focus on winning China, they would support Kik running independently to win the U.S."
Kik Messenger is an instant messaging application for mobile devices from Kik Interactive. The app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone operating systems free of charge. It was modelled after Blackberry Messenger.
Kik uses a smartphone's data plan or Wi-Fi to transmit and receive messages, and allows users to share photos, videos, sketches, mobile webpages, and other content.