Oct 21, 2019

Kik messaging app avoids collapse in sale to MediaLab

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.

Go deeper

Guild Education raises $157 million in Series D funding

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Guild Education, a Denver-based education benefits platform for Fortune 1000 companies, raised $157 million in Series D funding led by General Catalyst at a $1 billion post-money valuation.

Why it matters: Guild's mission is to help workers catch the increasingly elusive American dream, by better enabling them to obtain degrees and credentials required for higher-paying jobs.

Go deeperArrowNov 13, 2019

Crunchbase raises $30 million in Series C funding

CEO of Crunchbase Jager McConnell. Photo: studioEAST/Getty Images

Crunchbase, a private company information database that spun out of TechCrunch in 2015, raised $30 million in Series C funding led by OMERS Ventures.

Why it matters: Crunchbase is one of several upstarts — PitchBook, CB Insights, etc. — that recognized how private market data providers Dow Jones and Thomson Reuters were resting on their legacy laurels.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019

Scoop: IAC's plan to build out $200 million mobile unit

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Yahoo

Interactive Corp. (IAC), the digital media empire owned by media mogul Barry Diller, has been quietly building a profitable mobile apps division that's on track to bring in about $200 million in annual revenue.

  • The company has been building and acquiring roughly 8 consumer-facing mobile apps per year for the past 5 years, sources tell Axios. Sources say the company plans to add another round of around 8 apps this year, either by acquiring them or building them itself.
Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019