WATERLOO, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kik Interactive, the company behind the cross-platform mobile messaging application Kik Messenger, today announced it has closed an $8 million round of Series A funding with RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures. Kik also announced that Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures) and Adam Ludwin (RRE Ventures) are joining the company’s Board of Directors.
The new funding positions the company for its next phase of development, which includes the launch of new group messaging and picture sharing features. Following its explosive launch in October 2010, Kik Messenger is being used by more than three million people due to its speed, reliability, and unique user experience.
“Kik Messenger took the mobile chat world by storm four months ago, gaining more than one million users in its first 15 days, and our growth continues to be strong,” said Ted Livingston, founder and chief executive officer of Kik Interactive. “This round of funding allows us to continue perfecting our Kik Messenger application and other services, which we believe will help define the future of mobile communications.”
“Kik is a fast, simple, and elegant solution to cross device mobile messaging which we think is one of the most exciting investment opportunities right now,” said Fred Wilson, partner at Union Square Ventures. “We believe the Kik team has shown that they understand how to deliver the right set of features in the right package, and we are excited about working with them to build the mobile messaging marketplace.”
Kik Messenger – Now with Group Messaging and Picture Sharing
Kik also released a new version of Kik Messenger today for iOS and Android devices that features real-time group chat and picture sharing. Kik’s group chat makes it extremely simple to add anyone to a conversation on the fly. Up to ten people can be included in a group.
“Kik is known for having the best one-to-one messaging experience and we are now extending that to groups,” Livingston stated. “With other group messaging applications, a large group often becomes nothing more than a distribution list. Kik Messenger creates a dynamic interaction where people can easily enter and exit the conversation as needed, just like in real life.”
Kik Messenger’s new picture sharing features allows users to share what they’re seeing with the click of a button. Other picture sharing applications are essentially a file transfer, while Kik’s photo sharing capability is built around the idea of visually connecting people in real time. “It puts you right there with them, letting you see what they see as it happens,” Livingston added.
Kik will be a highly visible presence at the upcoming SXSW conference this week. Kik will be offering a free real-time concierge service for conference goers. Users can add “SXSW” to their Kik contacts and ask any question they might have, from what time a panel is starting to how late Torchy’s Tacos will be open. A real person will respond with Kik and answer the question in real time.
Kik Interactive (www.kik.com) is all about sharing and connecting. Kik Messenger is a cross-platform application that allows real-time instant messaging for individuals and groups, as well as photo sharing. Kik was created by a team of students at the University of Waterloo and was launched in October 2010 to unprecedented success. Today, more than three million people around the world are enjoying Kik Messenger. Kik Interactive is based in Waterloo, Ontario.
Download Kik Messenger at www.kik.com.
About RRE Ventures
Founded in 1994, RRE Ventures is a leading New York City-based venture capital firm. RRE focuses on helping extraordinary entrepreneurs and management teams build great companies in large, dynamic markets with a particular interest in companies that enable one of New York City’s seven key industries. RRE has $850 million under management across four funds and maintains a network of Senior Advisors who offer our portfolio companies unparalleled access to the highest levels of leadership across many global businesses and organizations. RRE is located in midtown Manhattan and has invested in over 40 New York metro area startups. For more information, visit www.rre.com.
About Spark Capital
Spark Capital is a venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. With investments focused on the conflux of the media, entertainment and technology industries. Over the last decade, the Spark team has been instrumental in the development of new markets and market leaders such as Akamai Technologies, Qtera, Aether Systems, Novatel Wireless, Twitter, 5Min, Altius Education, AdMeld, Verivue and Tumblr. With deep experience and $980 million under management, Spark Capital provides world-class entrepreneurs and revolutionary companies with the resources to succeed in today's marketplace. For more information, visit www.sparkcapital.com.
About Union Square Ventures
Union Square Ventures is one of the leading venture capital firms investing in Internet and mobile Internet businesses. For more information, visit www.usv.com.
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