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KIK RAISES $50M FROM TENCENT TO BECOME THE “WECHAT OF THE WEST”

Kik, the Canadian company behind the messaging app of the same name has announced $50M worth of funding from one of its partners, China’s Tencent (also the biggest internet company in China). This funding puts Kik’s total at $120.5M. The deal brings the company valuation into unicorn territory (the much-ballyhooed $1 billion mark.)

Here’s what Kik’s CEO, Ted Livingston, had to say about the new investment: Today we’re announcing that Tencent, maker of WeChat (Weixin), has invested $50 million in our company, Kik. This process started a year ago when our board asked us if a partnership with a large company might give us an advantage in winning the chat race. At first, I was hesitant. I was confident we could win the race alone. But, keeping in line with Kik’s principle of considering all the options, I eventually agreed to take a look.

Livingston says that he was sold once the team visited Tencent in China, calling them out as a global powerhouse: Today, there are only five other companies in the world that see the future like we do: Tencent, Line, Facebook, Snapchat, and Telegram. One of them owns the largest internet market in the world. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with them as we run this race.

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