Business 31 August 2017

Dan Taylor

Kik Concludes $50 million Funding Deal Ahead of ICO

Mobile messaging service Kik has concluded a fundraising drive worth $50 million, ahead of the public launch of its Kin token in the forthcoming ICO.

Kin tokens were issued to a group of private equity investors, including Pantera Capital, Polychain Capital and Blockchain Capital, ahead of an ICO planned for next month which aims to raise a further $75 million, for a combined $125 million in new capital inflows.

The Kik ICO has become one of the most discussed offerings of ethereum tokens to date, marking one of the first attempts by a high profile company to raise funds through token issues.

Regarded as controversial, and a potential target for increased SEC regulation in future, the reputation of ICOs could be dealt a boost by a successful Kik issue in September.

The company, which boasts 15 million active users each month in the crucial 13-24 demographic, announced its intention to create the token back in May, a move that was criticised at the time for being unlikely to yield the results they are striving for.

With the token developed in compliance with ethereum’s ERC-20 protocol, it can be traded through exchanges, and redeemed for dollars, a factor in Kik’s plan to roll out the token as a cryptocurrency for exchanging value between users and content creators on their platform in future.

The ICO will see one trillion tokens sold into circulation, of a maximum 10 trillion tokens built into the system. According to Tanner Philp, of Kik, this structure will prove useful for future use cases on its platform, including the some 180,000 bots already operational on their platform.

“One of the areas of immediate opportunity is the over 100,000 bot developers, who have created over 180,000 bots. Those bots could be anything from entertainment to content creation to games.”

The Kik ICO is expected to be one of the largest of its kind so far, and could contribute significantly to the $1.8 billion that has already been raised through ICOs to date.

With venture capital already on board, analysts are already expecting strong demand for the token on first issue.

With the ICO event fast approaching, attention will now turn to how popular the Kin token proves with early public investors.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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