“We agreed that someone would do in the West what WeChat was doing in China. The only question was who. We both believe it could be Kik.”
-Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik
Tencent, the maker of WeChat, and China’s biggest internet company, has committed $50M worth of funding to Kik, the Canadian company behind the messaging app of the same name, according to Tech Crunch.
The new investment pumps Kik’s funding up to $120.5M, and gives the company a $1 billion valuation.
Kik has made an impression since its launch in 2008, catching on quickly with teenagers and publishers alike. And its part of the wave of dark social apps, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Line – along with, of course, China’s WeChat – quickly soaking up the time of the world’s most sought-after demographic.
The app is currently among the top 30 selling apps in Apple’s US app store, and is 7th in the social networking category.
Tencent’s investment in the company shows great confidence in it being a big part of the next wave of social, and a confidence in direct messaging as a lucrative style of communicating going forward.