Kik Interactive, which is the creator of the global chat platform for teenagers called ‘Kik’, will launch the sale of its own crypto currency in two weeks, according to reports on Tuesday.
The creator of the global chat platform expects to raise $125 million in the initial coin offering (ICO) of its own Ethereum-based crypto currency, Kin.
Kik has also announced that it has raised around $50 million in funding powered by blockchain-focused investment firms, such as Polychain Capital, Pantera Capital, and Blockchain Capital. A total of 488 billion tokens, out of the allocated 1 trillion tokens, have been sold to the three mentioned firms in a presale. The investors in the presale were granted a 30 percent discount, since they reportedly provided the capital a few months ago during the company’s efforts to work out the regulatory framework of their token offering.
The company’s prospect is to raise an additional $75 million in the token sale debut, which is set on September 12.
The money that will be earned will be used to build another platform, which will be called the ‘Kin ecosystem.’ The Kin ecosystem is reportedly going to provide a host of decentralized products and services.
“Kin will fuel new experiences in communications, information, and commerce inside of Kik, and will also serve as a foundation for a new decentralized ecosystem of digital services, bringing a fair and sustainable business model to the market,” Kik’s founder and chief executive officer Ted Livingston said.
Livingston wrote a blog post and said, “We believe there is an opportunity to fundamentally change how digital services are built, used, and monetized.” He also described the company’s move as the “first mainstream adoption of crypto currency.”
According to him, the company has been working on Kin since 2014. Kin, he said, is considered the successor of Kik Points, Kin’s earlier prototype, which was a non-blockchain digital currency. A report also claimed that Kik Interactive has been “thinking about getting involved in crypto currencies since 2011.”
Additionally, if the crypto currency’s fate becomes favorable, it will allow the Ontario-based firm to remain independent and leave behind reports of stunted user growth and dwindling profit, which is believed to be caused by its struggle in keeping up with the competition in the messaging world dominated by Facebook Inc.
Earlier, the company divulged that only 15 million people out of the 300 million registered app users still use Kik on a monthly basis. However, Tanner Philip, who is a product manager at the firm, said the company hopes that those 300 registered users would help drive the adoption of the new digital currency across digital platforms.
Kik Interactive has also been criticized for its application’s requirements, in which users do not have to link their true identities to the app through a phone number, making it a space prone to illegal exploitations and harassment.
In August 2015, Tencent, a Chinese internet and mobile tech giant, invested $50 million in the Canadian company, giving it a capital infusion and bringing it to a unicorn status of $1 billion valuation.
Ryan Zurrer, who is a venture partner at Polychain Capital, stated, “Kik is by far the largest consumer company to enter the crypto currency space,” while describing Kik’s plan as a “seminal moment for the industry.”
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