Waterloo-based Kik Messenger now is worth north of $1 billion, thanks to its recent $50 million venture funding from WeChat parent company Tencent, reports Re/code.
The messaging app has 240 million registered users and says 40 percent of American teenagers are actively using the app. The new funding doesn’t mean the app will merge into one with China’s WeChat, but rather share information like data and app information, Kik co-founder Chris Best tells Re/code.
The money raised will be used to help target growth of the company by hiring more employees, which currently stands at 51 people.
Back in April, Bloomberg reported Kik was said to have hired an investment firm Qatalyst Partners to explore strategic partnerships and possible buyout offers.
Kim was founded at the University of Waterloo Velocity Residence in Waterloo, by CEO Ted Livingston, a former BlackBerry employee.
We haven’t touched Kik in ages since its launch on iOS. I don’t really know anyone that uses the messaging app, but it sounds very popular in the U.S. They’ve done a pretty incredible job of raising so much money.
Kik for iOS is available for free in the App Store and includes in-app purchases for stickers and more.