Kik Messenger Raises $50M From WeChat
Yesterday, there was a lot of press about Kik Messenger’s newly announced $50M dollar raise from strategic partner, WeChat. You can read more about the raise via TechCrunch – here. A few months ago, there were rumors floating around about Kik “supposedly” seeking out a buyer, in order to sell the company. However, Ted Livingston – CEO & Founder of Kik – immediately shut down the notion and said they were instead, seeking ‘strategic partners.’
We want to be the WeChat of the West. – Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik
If you want to read his post via Medium, regarding his stance on becoming the WeChat of the West, you can view it here. Indeed, Kik seems to be set to become the ‘WeChat’ of the West. With this newly secured raise, Ted’s company is positioned to grow even further than it already is. What’s more interesting is that Kik was able to secure additional funding through WeChat itself. For those who aren’t familiar with the app – WeChat is a GLOBAL powerhouse in the mobile messaging space. Based out of China, it is the NUMBER one choice for people in China (a country with over 1B+ population), as their go-to-source for communication, shopping, web browsing and more via their mobile telephones.
After hearing of the news, I thought it was rather strategic by both companies. WeChat wants to not only own Asia, but also seems to have its sights set on the U.S as well. With China being such an economic power, brands and advertisers alike are flocking to the app to create a presence through their portal. However, WeChat seems to be facing some issues getting users here in the U.S, as it has to compete with the likes of 2 apps owned by Facebook – Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp. Kik wants to BE the WeChat of the West, but it faces tough competition as well. However, with this newly developed strategic partnership, this could bode well for both companies. This newly formed alliance could prove to be a nuisance for its competitors here in the States.
However, I think the battle for the U.S is still in its early stages. There is no ‘one’ platform that everyone uses. The demographics are different per each app available. With the tastes and needs all unique and diverse, the battle ground is still fresh here. I can’t help but wonder, what about the ‘other’ giant that’s dominating Asia as well – LINE ? Hmm, I’m curious to see what they will do.