Kik

We are taking a break from our regularly scheduled programming (MBA Mondays) to share some exciting news about our newest portfolio company. I wrote this post on the USV blog and am cross posting it here.

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At Union Square Ventures, we seek to invest in large networks of engaged users. And we believe that the new beachhead for creating large networks is the mobile device.

When you look at the engaged user on the mobile device, the thing you notice is that messaging is the killer app. People like to talk and increasingly people like to text. But sms has all sorts of issues. It costs money to send a text. There has been a maddening lack of innovation in the sms channel.

So it makes total sense that something will come along and replace texting and we believe that thing is mobile push. And we think the killer app for mobile push is messaging. And for the past year, we have been seeking to make an investment in mobile messaging built on the push channel.

There are no lack of startups innovating in this sector. In fact, there are a ton of them. It is a very crowded space and we have had the benefit of meeting with and getting to know many of the teams working in this sector. There are a handful of excellent teams and excellent apps in this sector. Choosing a team to back has been hard for us.

Today, we have finally made that choice. Our newest portfolio company, Kik, has announced that it has raised a round of financing from RRE, Spark, and our firm. I am joining the board along with Adam Ludwin from RRE.

You may wonder – how did we decide which mobile messaging startup to back? For us, it came down to the product and the team. The Kik product is simple, fast, and elegant. It gets the job done and doesn't get in the way. And the team, led by founder Ted Livingston, has a vision for how to package a lot of power and functionality into a simple, easy, and quick utility. We believe that less is more and that message delivery speed is paramount.

If you want to experience Kik yourself, please visit the download page and give it a try.