Kik Raises $50 Million and Details Launch of Ethereum Token Kin

It looks like cryptocurrency sales have a chance to start providing big-name companies with a real kick in the pants.

The Waterloo-based Kik Interactive (creators of popular messaging app Kik) has announced via their blog that they raised $50 million (All figures USD) from sales of its ethereum token Kin to private institutional investors, including Blockchain Capital, Pantera Capital and Polychain Capital. This all came from a pre sale round, but the company has plans to raise a total of $125 million through token sales.

This announcement is important as Kik’s Kin token shows off the first mainstream adoption of a custom cryptocurrency by a big name company.

Kin is Kik Interactive’s own token within the ethereum cryptocurrency and it will be adopted into the messaging app. This is a move the company hopes will instantly create a widely used cryptocurrency wallet. Kin launches at 9:00 A.M. EST on September 12 and will serve as the apps primary transaction currency. Over 15 million people use Kik, and the average age demographic of users is 13 to 24 years old.

“We’re one step closer to launching Kin and integrating it into Kik, which will be the first mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency,” said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik Interactive. “Kin will fuel new experiences in communications, information, and commerce inside of Kik, and will also serve as a foundation for a new decentralized ecosystem of digital services, bringing a fair and sustainable business model to the market.”

Kik executives hope that Kin will create a decentralized ecosystem of digital services through what they call the Kin Rewards Engine, “an innovative crypto-economic structure intended to promote the use of Kin as a common currency, that will be administered by the Kin Foundation.”

Kin has lofty goals to try and succeed with a personalized currency system where other companies have failed. Facebook Credits was introduced in 2011 and closed two years later after no one really grew to use the program. Kik has a much smaller user base, so only time will tell if Kin can latch on to the cryptocurrency craze that is sweeping the tech world. Kik told CoinDesk that the company’s plan is to see Kin become a general purpose cryptocurrency which could perhaps be used as an exchange method between users, developers and content creators.

If you want to register for the TDE, you can head here and sign up. Make sure to do so before September 9, as that is when the registration will close.