Kik Acquires Toronto-Based ‘Blynk’ Fashion Startup
Waterloo-based messaging company Kik Interactive has today acquired the fashion app ‘Blynk’ along with its four full-time employees for an undisclosed sum, making it the company’s third acquisition since its founding in 2009. According to TechCrunch, Kik’s acquisition of the Toronto fashion app hints that the company may be planning to introduce its future services and products around fashion.
For those who aren’t familiar with Blynk, the iOS and Android app uses a Tinder-like swipe interface to help users sort their personal style. The app shows a variety of outfits to users, who can swipe left to hate and right to love, and over time the app narrows its suggestions based on your votes to show you fewer of the things you dislike.
“What they’ve built capabilities-wise fits extremely well with what we’ve built here at Kik,” said Jae Kim, the new head of strategy at Kik. The startup’s existing Kik chatbot ‘blynkstyle’ will now be enhanced so that its swiping system will be a feature native to the Kik app, he added.
“We’re open minded and we think about how to build the best experience,” Jae Kim, head of strategy and partners, told TechCrunch in an interview. “[If there are] teams that help us to do that and accelerate that, we’re always interested. We see a lot of people building on chat [and] a lot of ways to partner with them.” The deal, which is more of an acquihire than an acquisition, is the third time Kik has bought a company. It bought GIF Relay in November 2014 and this summer it snapped up GameMix, a startup making HTML5 games for the Kik Messenger platform.
It must be noted that even though Blynk was not a highly capitalized company, it had won money and awards in startup competitions across Canada and the U.S.