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Will Kik’s $38.3 Million In Funding Help Kick It Into High Gear?

Waterloo-based Kick certainly has not had it easy as it continues to fight for space on your smartphone.  There are a number of competitive messaging apps such as Blackberry’s BBM, Whatsapp to name a few, and they were once sued by Blackberry and kicked out of Blackberry’s app store.  This week the company announced it has secured $38.3 million in Series C round of funding.  The new funding 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. This round brings total funding to $70.5 million to date.

The company said the new funds will be used to further develop the product and expand growth of their engineering and business development teams. As part of the Series C and in keeping with its philosophy of sharing rewards with all of its team members, Kik negotiated a secondary offering for all past and current employees.

Kik also made its first acquisition as they have bought Relay, a GIF messenger for an undisclosed sum.  As part of the acquisition, Relay founders Jon McGee and Joe Rideout will take key roles at Kik. Relay will discontinue its service on Dec. 15, 2014.

Kik has been around long enough that many people have come across the company name, but at 185 million users it still represents a small percentage of North American smartphone users, not to mention the global potential. To get to the next level the company will also need to beef up on its marketings and sales efforts to disrupt consumers pattern and download the app.