Kik raises $38.3 million in funding and acquires GIF Messenger Relay

Waterloo-based Kik Interactive announced today that they’ve successfully raised a $38.3 million Series C Funding and also acquired GIF Messenger Relay. The terms of the Relay acquisition were not disclosed, but Relay founders Jon McGee and Joe Rideout will take on key roles at Kik. Relay will discontinue its service on December 15th., 2014.

With the $38.3 million raise this brings Kik’s total funding to $70.5 million to date. The latest round was led by Valiant Capital Partners with participation from new investors Millennium Technology Value Partners and SV Angel, and existing investors Foundation Capital, RRE Ventures, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures.

Kik currently has over 60 employees and will use the new funding to develop new products and expand its engineering and business development teams.

“Today, mobile users aren’t searching for new apps – they’re looking for richer engagement in the apps they already have,” said Ted Livingston, Kik’s CEO and founder. “Chat is at the core of the mobile era, and the Relay acquisition coupled with the recent funding puts us in a really strong position to dominate in chat.”

“After being approached with a number of acquisition offers, it was clear that Kik was the best fit for us,” stated Joe Rideout, co-founder of Relay. “We’re extremely excited to join an independent messaging company with a similar culture and a broad reach, and we look forward to sharing our visual messaging technology with Kik’s users.”

Kik currently has over 185 million users and over 250,000 new users join Kik every day. Over 68% of Kik’s users are located in the United States and 40% of those are aged 13-25. In addition, from a monetization standpoint, over 25 brands are using “Kik Promoted Chats,” including Adaptly, AERO, Funny or Die, VICE, Seventeen Magazine and Skullcandy.

Over the last year more than 700,000 people downloaded Relay and users have sent over 10 million GIF messages per month for a total collection of over 6.5 million GIFs.

Ian Hardy

Ian Hardy

Ian is the Director of Partnerships for BetaKit. He's been quietly creating and building things for years and is completely addicted to Tim Hortons.