The Kik messaging platform has been bought by MediaLab, a holding company which operates Whisper and a number of other apps, the company announced Friday.
Kik Interactive, the company behind the messaging platform, previously announced that it would be shutting the app down in October, though CEO Ted Livingston announced last week that a company had signed a letter of intent to purchase the app. Details of the sale were not disclosed.
“We believe that Kik’s best days remain ahead of it,” the blog post read. While MediaLab plans to commit to Kik long-term, the company is looking to raise revenue through the messaging app, and will integrate ads on the platform as a short-term effort to do so. (Livingston has previously pushed back against the idea of enabling ads on the platform.)
Kik Interactive, the company behind the messaging platform, is currently embroiled in a legal fight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which alleged Kik violated securities law when it raised $100 million in a token sale in late 2017. Livingston vowed to fight the SEC, but announced in late September that Kik would be shutting down the messaging app portion of its business. Livingston directly attributed this shutdown to the SEC fight in a blog post at the time.
Livingston did pledge that the company would continue to build out the Kin ecosystem, referring to the cryptocurrency Kik built as part of the token sale process.
In Friday’s blog post, MediaLab said the messaging app would continue to enable kin transactions, writing:
“We are fans of Kin and believe in its long term potential. We are excited to further partner with Ted and his team on expanding the Kin integration and have plans to further support the project. We’ll have more to share on that front soon.”
Going forward, MediaLab plans to improve the app, reduce the number of bugs, and solicit feedback from the app’s users to determine what features they want or issues they have.
“Ted Livingston and the rest of the team at Kik have spent the last 9 years building something truly special,” the announcement read. “At the risk of sounding cheesy we are still passionate believers in what the internet promised to bring in its early days – a connected and shared experience amongst people regardless of geography or time zone. Kik is one of those amazing places that brings us back to those early aspirations.”
Ted Livingston image via CoinDesk Live