Oct 21, 2019

Kik messaging app avoids collapse in sale to MediaLab

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Kik Interactive sold its eponymous mobile messaging app and other select assets to MediaLab, a Los Angeles-based holding company whose brands include Whisper, for an undisclosed amount of cash.

Why it matters: The app has over 300 million registered users, but was in jeopardy of being shuttered due to legal costs related to Kik's ongoing dispute with the SEC over an initial coin offering for its Kin cryptocurrency. A source says that the deal will leave Kik with around 20 core developers to work on Kin.

Between the lines: The cap table won't change for Kik, which has raised around $120 million in VC funding from firms like Foundation Capital, RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures. Kik also maintains around 30% of all Kin tokens.

The bottom line: Kik's future remains murky, as there is no indication that it and the SEC will resolve their differences out of court. The agency recently settled with Block.One over a similar set of issues, but also won a judicial order blocking Telegram from distributing around $1.7 billion of its own digital tokens. A hearing on the Telegram situation has been pushed back from this week into next February.

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Trump threatens to deploy military amid national unrest

President Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden Monday evening that he is "mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military" to stop violent protests across the country, decrying "professional anarchists, looters, criminals, antifa and others" whose actions have "gripped" the nation.

The backdrop: Trump's announcement came as police clashed with protesters just outside of the White House, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot," and other slogans. Flash bangs used outside the White House could be heard from the Rose Garden.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."

The Biden-Trump split screen

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

The differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump are plain as day as the two respond to recent protests.

Why it matters: Americans are seeing firsthand how each presidential nominee responds to a national crisis happening during a global pandemic.