Kik Messenger is an instant messaging app from Kik Interactive, a Canadian company based in Waterloo. As of the second quarter of 2018, Kik had over 300 million registered users and 40 million monthly active users.
The service has been immensely popular among teenagers who prefer it to other social media because it allows them to chat with their peers without revealing any personal information.
Kik was founded by Ted Livingston in 2009. It received $19 million in funding from the venture capital firm Union Square Ventures in 2010, and $49.5 million more in 2013. The company also raised $120 million in a debt financing round led by Tencent Holdings Ltd. in 2017, giving it a valuation of $1 billion.
In March 2018, Kik announced it was launching a new decentralized platform called Kin. Kin is based on the Ethereum blockchain and allows users to earn and spend tokens by participating in activities such as watching ads, playing games, or referring friends. The Kin Foundation, a nonprofit created to oversee the Kin project, will mint the tokens and give them to Kik in return for $100 million worth of the company’s shares.
So, is Kik really shutting down?
On November 6, 2018, Ted Livingston announced via a blog post that Kik would be shutting down its service on December 1, 2018, due to a lack of funding. He said the team had failed to raise enough money from existing investors or attract new ones before Kin’s launch.
However, on November 12, 2018, Kik announced it had reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would allow the company to continue operating. As part of the agreement, Kik will issue $5 million worth of Kin tokens to the SEC, which will be used to fund future enforcement actions.
Kik will also be under a three-year order to start a regulatory approval process for its new token offering system.
Kin did not fare well following the news of Kik’s failure and ultimately reached an all-time low on November 15th. Many were upset by the news that Kin would have to begin the fundraising process all over again.
Despite the shutdown announcement, Kik Messenger is still available as of November 25th. Whether it will remain available after December 1st remains to be seen.
So is Kik Messenger app really shutting down? As of now, the answer is unclear. What is clear, however, is that the company is in financial trouble and may not be able to sustain its operations for much longer. Whether Kin can save Kik remains to be seen. Stay tuned for updates!
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