The company behind mobile messaging app Tango is in talks to secure investment that would value it at around $1.5 billion, according to Reuters.
According to unnamed sources, the round would see early investors and shareholders selling shares to Ukrainian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, who wants to increase his stake, as well as a number of other suitors.
Blavatnik first invested in Tango in 2011, when he led a $42 million financing transaction valuing the company at $160 million. The businessman also owns Warner Music Group.
The sources said no deal has yet been secured and that it is unclear how many existing investors will want to sell in this kind of transaction.
The valuation is an improvement on the $1.1 billion from five months ago when Tango secured $280 million in direct investment, including $215 million from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Tango now has more than 200 million registered users with 70 million active on a monthly basis. It is available in 14 languages and has members in more than 224 countries, across device platforms.
This compares with Viber’s 608 million registered users, of which there are 400 million ‘Unique IDs’, according to its owner, Rakuten.
Research by EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator, showed significant growth in the usage of Tango during the first half of 2014.
Its recent 4GEE Mobile Living Index found that Tango accounted for 16 per cent of all messaging traffic on its network, a dramatic increase from less than 1 per cent at the beginning of the year.
Showing its commitment to expand beyond messaging, Tango recently announced a $25 million games fund for developers as it looks to continue to expand the number of titles available on its platform.