Kik Interactive, a Waterloo, Ontario, Canada-based maker of the chat network Kik, closed a US$50m Series D funding.
Tencent, a provider of internet services in China and creator of the chat app Weixin (WeChat), made the investment which valued the company at $1 billion.
The company intends to use the funds to grow its team in Waterloo and invest in chat-based services.
Led by founder and CEO Ted Livingston, Kik Interactive is the maker of Kik, the messaging app with more than 240 million registered users.
As WeChat in China, which is used by consumers not only to connect with friends, but also to facilitate numerous other experiences, including booking taxis, shopping, ordering food deliveries, paying utility bills, playing games, and following celebrities, opinion leaders, and brands via Official Accounts, Kik aims to build a similar chat-based ecosystem around American youth.
The company also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.