Kik获腾讯投资 立志做西方的微信 Kik Raises $50 Million From Tencent

SAN FRANCISCOKik has long aspired to becomethe Western worlds equivalent of WeChat, the hugely popular Chinese messaging app thatlets users book taxis, send paymentsand also talk with their friends.

旧金山——很长时间里,加拿大移动应用Kik一直渴望成为西方世界的微信,后者是一个在中国十分受欢迎的通讯app,用户可以用它预定出租车、付款,也可以和朋友聊天。

Now Kik has secured an investment from WeChats parent company.

现在,Kik获得了微信母公司的投资。

The service announced on Tuesday that it had collected $50 million in new capital fromTencent, the Chinese Internet giant that created WeChat four years ago.

周二,Kik宣布获得中国互联网巨头腾讯公司5000万美元的投资,后者在四年前推出了微信。

The investment values Kik at $1 billion.

这笔投资使Kik的估值达到了10亿美元。

We said we wanted to be the WeChat of the West,” Ted Livingston, Kiks founder and chiefexecutive, said in an interview. “To have WeChat come in and say, ‘Yep, we think you can doit,’ is very satisfying.”

“之前我们说过,我们想成为西方的微信,”Kik创始人兼CEO泰德·利文斯顿(Ted Livingston)在接受采访时说。“现在腾讯给我们投了钱,还说‘没错,我们觉得你们能成,’这还挺让人开心的。”

The move is the latest by a major Western messaging service in the hopes of growing tobecome the next big Internet force. Companies like Kik, Viber and Tango have sought to ridethe wave of popularity that propelled WhatsApp to a $21.8 billion sale to Facebook and buoyedthe valuation of Snapchat to $15 billion.

这是各家西方主流的通讯app,为了成为下一个互联网大角色所采取的最新举措。在最近一波互联网热潮中,WhatsApp以218亿美元价格被Facebook收购,Snapchat的估值被推高到150亿美元,KikViberTango等公司也试图借机实现飞跃。

Among those messaging apps, Kik has been the most vocal about becoming the kind ofInternet hub that WeChat has evolved into in China. Founded in January 2011, WeChat nowlets users send imageladen messages, play games and buy plane tickets.

在所有这些通讯app中,Kik最为积极地表示,想要成为微信在中国所演变成的那种互联网枢纽的角色。于2011年1月推出的微信,现在可以让用户发送包含图片的信息,玩游戏和买机票。

To Mr. Livingston, that has meant, in part, catching younger users. Kik now claims that 40percent of American teenagers use its app, and that 70 percent of its 240 million registeredusers are between 13 and 24 years old.

对利文斯顿来说,那在一定程度上意味着吸引更年轻的用户。Kik表示,现在有40%的美国年轻人使用其app,而且在全部2.4亿名注册用户中,有70%是13岁至24岁的年轻人。

Getting users early on means that they will be more comfortable using a service like Kik as away to not only send messages, but also use addon services. Already, the company hasintroduced new offerings like messages built on GIFs, the increasingly prolific animatedimages that now litter the Web.

吸引年轻用户意味着,他们更有可能不仅将Kik这样的app用来发信息,还乐于使用它提供的各种附加服务。Kik已经提供了一些新功能,比如发送包含GIF图片的信息,这种动态图片如今在网络上随处可见。

Its a similar approach, Mr. Livingston said, to how WeChat served as a gateway for many firsttime Chinese Internet usersand then added more and more features to keep those peoplecoming back.

利文斯顿表示,这种策略和微信采用的方式类似。微信充当了很多上网新手的入门应用,之后它推出了越来越多的功能,以保持用户粘性。

Though Kik and WeChat have known each other for some time, the investment grew out of astrategic review process that the Western app began in the spring with the help of QatalystPartners, the Silicon Valley boutique investment bank. Kik also weighed other options, includinga sale of itself, but it favored an investment. Taking money from a likeminded Chinesecounterpart simply made sense, according to Mr. Livingston.

尽管Kik和微信相互了解已经有一段时间,但是这一融资决定是在Kik进行了战略评估之后做出的。该项评估是在硅谷精品投行Qatalyst Partners帮助下,从今年春天开始进行的。Kik也对其他选择进行了权衡,其中包括出售,但最终它更倾向于融资。利文斯顿表示,从一家思路相近的中国公司获得融资,让人感觉比较合理。

With the new money, Kik will focus on growing and adding new offerings for its app, Mr.Livingston said. It also will help the company build revenue, which it has started collectingthrough initiatives like Kik Points, where users can garner rewards by visiting sites, takingsurveys or joining services from partners.

利文斯顿表示,新资金到位后,将主要用于为app开发新功能,这也将有助于公司增加营收。通过之前推出的Kik Points,该公司已经开始有营收进账。在Kik Points系统里,用户可以通过访问网站、填写调查问卷或下载安装合作app而获得奖励。