Kik Interactive, the Waterloo-based company that is building a messaging empire in Kik Messenger, announced today they have reached a user base of 80 million.
By signing up 225,000 people every day, the company has managed to grow its base by 30 million users since April, when it released its last major version, and is poised to continue its quick rise as it focuses on adding more content to its HTML5-based Cards ecosystem.
Kik recently began monetizing its platform by charging for sticker packs and coins, which are redeemed for intra-Card purchases. Partners like Zynga have begun offering games within the app, and Kik has added single-serving features like Reddit photo and YouTube search, the results of which can be shared between users. The company raised a Series B funding round of $19.5 million back in April, and though they have been relatively quiet since then, launching version 6.6 in early September, it’s clear there are loftier plans in the pipe.
They recently launched Kik Cup, a partnership with VeloCity and the University of Waterloo, to empower young developers to create great apps, ideally using the HTML5-based platform. While their customer base skews American (and, to some extent, Canadian) they are growing in countries where entrenched competitors like WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Hike and others have a firm grip. The messaging wars, as they’re facetiously referred to, are big business, with companies like Facebook and Path attempting to get an edge in. Thanks to Kik’s ultra-fast delivery system they have an advantage, but it will be interesting to see what they do to ensnare the next 80 million.