The much-hyped Kik ICO has today come to a close, falling short of the expectations set out by the company ahead of its launch.
The funding drive, which saw the social messaging giant offering up their new Kin token for the first time, closed having raised a total of $98 million – some way from the initial $125 million funding target.
The funding was comprised of $50 million in private support from institutional investors, followed by a further $48 million from the open offering.
The Kik ICO had been flagged as one of the first of its kind from a mainstream company, and had been expected to easily surpass its initial target. However, the shortfall comes at a time of increasing scrutiny on ICOs, with financial and market regulators worldwide warning consumers about the unregulated nature of these types of investments.
This has included notably criticism from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, who went a step further in suggesting that some ICOs were in fact securities, and as such, companies issuing them must meet traditional compliance standards – obligations that many ICOs have thus far eschewed in favour of an unregulated approach.
The ethereum-based Kin token will ultimately be used across the Kik platform for a range of transactions, creating a plausible secondary market for buyers on the ground floor.
The messenger app currently reaches some 15 million users monthly in the key 16-24 demographic, and is regarded as one of the rising stars of the social media market. While the ICO has raised significant capital for the firm, the failure to hit their own target will be considered disappointing for the company.
However, with 10,000 investors from over 115 countries, Kik maintains their kin token is now one of the world’s “most widely held cryptocurrencies”.
Despite growing criticism and warnings on the ICO model from regulators, this month represents one of the busiest on record, with some $517 million raised in September so far.
This reflects a broader trend, which saw a total of $797 million raised through ICOs in the second quarter of the year.
While the results are disappointing for Kik, it seems the ICO model more broadly is continuing to thrive.