Waterloo mobile messaging startup closes $19.5 million financing round

A Waterloo startup that wants to change mobile messaging has $19.5 million to help it in its mission.

Kik Interactive announced last week that it has closed a $19.5 million in Series B financing round with original investors RRE Ventures, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures, and was led by Foundation Capital.

According to Kik, the funding will be used to support continued platform development and drive the company towards monetization. The company has developed a smartphone messaging platform that integrates HTML5 apps, including Cards, which allows for the creation and deployment of cross-platform apps.

Kik reports it has surpassed 50 million users and is adding 200,000 new users per day, and over 25 million Cards downloaded since the feature was launched in November.

“This is an extremely exciting time for Kik. We’re seeing our user base grow like crazy as we continue building out what we believe is the best one-to-one messaging experience on mobile,” said Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik, in a statement. “The new funding will strengthen our development efforts as we begin to leverage Cards as one of our routes towards monetization.”

Anamitra Banerji, a partner at Foundation Capital, which has invested in firms such as Netflix, LendingClub, Chegg, MobileIron and Pocket, will join the Kik board of directors. Banerji was also Twitter’s 30th employee and first product manager, and spearheaded the creation of promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts.

“Messaging is core to the mobile experience, and Kik is changing the way people – especially the ‘born-mobile’ generation – connect with each other and the apps they love,” said Banerji. “There are similarities between Kik and Twitter when it comes to growth, engagement and vision. We are excited to help Kik bring its fast, simple and rich experience to every mobile user around the world.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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