Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings has invested US$50 million in Kik Interactive Inc., a Canadian firm that operates a popular messaging app, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The deal, which values the Canadian startup at US$1 billion, will help Tencent gain a bigger foothold in the North America messaging market.
The Chinese firm had earlier invested in Snapchat, which now has more than 100 million users.
Kik’s founder and chief executive Ted Livingston described the Tencent deal as “purely financial” and that there were no discussions of an acquisition.
Kik recently integrated games and other apps, such as music-streaming service Soundcloud, within its messenger service to attract more users.
The user base is said to have reached 200 million as of now.
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