Today we hear from Ted Livingston, who founded Kik interactive in 2009 to address the problem of chat between blackberry, android and iPhone. Since then their chat app, Kik, has exploded in popularity, experiencing use by up to 40% of US teenagers.
In 2015 Tencent, the builder of Chinese chat giant Wechat, purchased a 5% stake in the company at a Billion dollar valuation. A move that some are saying has anointed Kik as the Wechat of the west. It’s interesting to see the youth focus with One Direction leading their award winning marketing campaign of 2014 .
Kik is a somewhat anonymous platform, with it’s own economy in which stickers are traded and users can be charged for access to certain chat rooms.
By launching the Kik in-app currency, Kin, as a cryptocurrency, Kik interactive aims to enable the Kik micro-economy to grow independently and organically. The Token launch ended recently with nearly one hundred million USD equivalent raised. No surprises there. What is interesting is that registered contributors numbered over 10,000 and resided in over 100 countries, indicating that the currency is indeed broadly distributed compared to other tokens. Though, my guess is it’s concentrated in the hands of speculators, rather than the 15 million community participants.
This episode was recorded over two months ago so it’s interesting to look back from the other side of the Token Launch and see Ted’s claims of broad distribution validated.