Kika Tech, the US company behind a popular keyboard app, raised $30.6 million in a Series B funding, to “further solidify its market share across the globe”.
Kika Tech wants to “consolidate its market share” in the US, Europe, Brazil, and Mexico while also expanding to a wider overseas audience.
The company claims its Kika Keyboard app is the top downloaded Android keyboard app in the Google Play Store, with 130 million downloads since its launch in 2014 and 20 million active daily users, and believes it has “clear opportunities for more user growth in established and emerging markets”.
According to CEO Bill Hu: “We are in the era of mobile internet, and smart devices have become the platforms of modern day communication. The keyboard is the natural entrance into those platforms.”
Kika says its apps provide users with fast typing and swiping, natural language prediction, theme and layout customisation and an open plugin platform.
The company’s plan is to make communication in the future easier and more personal across all operating systems, social platforms and devices.
The Series B round was led by Honge Capital, Bole Zongheng, and Zhu Ye, a Chinese investor and CEO of Zeus Interactive.
Zhu Ye said he was impressed by “the detail and passion the engineers and the Kika team have,” adding that he has “invested in a number of Chinese companies, but rarely do you find a group of talented Chinese entrepreneurs with the skill-set, success, and focus on growing a business in the Americas”.
The keyboard app market is a competitive one. Last month, Microsoft acquired UK startup SwiftKey, the company behind a keyboard app underpinned by predictive technology, for $250 million.
SwiftKey says its flagship app, launched on Android in 2010 and on iOS less than two years ago, has been installed on more than 300 million devices. It also claims its users have saved an estimated 10 trillion keystrokes across 100 different languages.