Kik has acquired an Israeli-based video chat app in its second major acquisition.
If you’ve used the ever-popular mobile messaging app Kik, you may have noticed that the app didn’t use to be very good at letting its users share video with each other. This changed in December with a new video chat feature. It won’t be surprising to hear then, that the company has just acquired video chat app Rounds for a reported SGD 85-115 million (USD 60 – 80 million). The price tag was reported by local Israeli media, though neither company has given an official statement about the amount.
Kik boasts 300 million users, and Rounds is no light weight either, clocking in at 40 million. The purchase of Rounds is the second major acquisition by Kik, the first being GIF Relay, which was bought in 2014. As part of the acquisition, Kik will see a boost to it’s tech department. The Canadian company is retaining Rounds’ 35 employees and is turning its Tel Aviv office into a Kik product and engineering center. This will be Kik’s first international base. Kik said that it has opened a similar base in Toronto, too. Kik’s team now totals 165, but are still actively hiring.
One of Rounds’ hottest features was video calls with up to 12 people at once
It is curious to note that Kik’s new video chat feature arrived before the deal was solidified. We may expect more video-based features soon, as the partnership takes off: “The team at Rounds knows how to build products that make chat fun and entertaining for our teen audience. The company has very strong product and engineering experience, and we’re excited to join forces to achieve our goal of making chat the central hub for everyday life,” said Kik’s CEO Ted Livingston in a statement.
“We saw Kik as the perfect partner to expand our reach to such a vast audience” added Rounds CEO and co-founder Dany Fishel. “It’s rare when two companies share a similar culture and vision of connecting people through fun, meaningful experiences, and we’re eager to build the next great platform together.”