“We’re thrilled to have such a talented team laying the foundation for our Waterloo [Region] office,” Ward said.
The announcement beings to answer some of the questions that have surrounded Kik, ever since CEO and founder Ted Livingston announced in late September that the Kitchener-based company was shutting down its messaging service and laying off most of its staff in order to concentrate on its Kin cryptocurrency and its legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which was sparked by the sale of Kin tokens in 2017.
Following that announcement, the Waterloo Region Record reported that Kik had signed a letter of intent that would see the transfer of most of Kik’s 75 staff and office at Catalyst137 “to an unnamed Silicon Valley tech firm.”
Carta now appears to be that firm.
Separately, Livingston had previously announced that Kik had signed a letter of intent with an undisclosed company to sell the Kik messaging platform; the name of that firm is still unknown.
“The sale of the Kik app is in the final stages of close – we will be able to share more details on that soon,” Kik spokesperson Tanner Philp told Communitech News in an email Thursday.
Carta, which got its start in 2012, is a fast-growing unicorn. It completed a US$300-million Series E funding round last May at a US$1.7-billion valuation. The company has nine offices, including the one it just acquired, seven of which are in the U.S. It also has a location in Rio de Janeiro.
“The Carta announcement is an exciting development for the Kik team and the Waterloo region,” Philp said.
Ward said the company’s new Waterloo Region office will become the company’s “next great R&D centre,” and added that the office is hiring engineers.
“The team we are getting is mission-driven, talented, ambitious, and kind,” Ward wrote. “On top of that, having their consumer-oriented DNA within Carta will help us build better products for all types of stakeholders. We are lucky to have them join us.
“Waterloo is an ideal new home for Carta. With this office we will be in the center of a thriving tech community and top tier universities – an ecosystem we’re humbled to be a part of for years to come.”
When it launched in October 2010, Kik amassed more than a million users within two weeks. It reached 300 million users by 2017, but faced increasing difficulty monetizing the platform, which sparked the pivot to Kin that same year.
Communitech is a partner of Startup HERE Toronto. This article originally appeared on their site.