Saturday, November 22nd0.6°C
24188
23778

Alibaba leads $280 million investment in Tango as interest in mobile messaging heats up

SAN FRANCISCO - Tango is joining the conga line of mobile messaging services that have turned into hot commodities as more people use them to communicate and share photos, music and other content.

China's Alibaba Group is making the latest big bet on the trend with a $215 million investment in Tango and its 200 million registered users. Tango, a Mountain View, Calif., startup, has accumulated the audience in just four years since the debut of its mobile messaging service.

Another group of investors that includes Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is anteing an additional $65 million to raise the total funding round to $280 million.

Alibaba is buying into Tango's future just a month after online social networking leader Facebook Inc. announced plans to acquire mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. That deal came together after another mobile messaging service, Snapchat, rejected a $3 billion takeover offer from Facebook, according to reports in newspapers and technology blogs that cited people familiar with the negotiations.

Yet another mobile messaging specialist, Viber Media, sold for $900 million last month to Japan's Rakuten Inc.

It's likely that Tango is now valued at more than $1 billion, although the privately held company isn't disclosing the size of the stake being sold to Alibaba. Tango has raised a total $367 million since its inception.

The latest infusion will be used to expand Tango's workforce of 160 employees and develop more features for its service, according to its co-founder Eric Setton.

Tango's audience is half the size of WhatsApp, which boasts more than 450 million users.

Alibaba launched its own mobile messaging service last year, but now has a piece of a larger player in the communications space.

"We were simply blown away by the vision and quality of the team at Tango and believe they have a disruptive way of looking at the mobile and messaging opportunity," said Joe Tsai, Alibaba's executive vice chairman.

Alibaba is also privately held, but is preparing to sell its stock later this year in an initial public offering that could raise $15 billion. Its IPO is being hotly anticipated because it has built the most prosperous e-commerce site in China. Mobile messaging might open up more ways for merchants to sell their goods through Alibaba, although Setton says Alibaba's investment doesn't include the rights to use the Tango app as part of its business.

Tango, WhatsApp and similar services have exploded in popularity during the past few years after they released applications made for the iPhone and Android smartphones. Those applications, collectively, have supplanted sending traditional texts through the services of telecommunications providers as the most popular way for people on the go to keep in touch with their friends and family.

The apps also accommodate more than just texts. Tango, for instance, allows music to be shared through Spotify's streaming service and also provides social networking services.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

22970


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15111.13+35.95
S&P CDNX789.135.56
DJIA17810.0691.06
Nasdaq4712.97+11.102
S&P 5002063.50+10.75
CDN Dollar0.8901-0.0002
Gold1201.50+10.60
Oil76.72+0.87
Lumber331.50+4.50
Natural Gas4.236-0.253

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.155-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.30+0.03
Cantex0.04+0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.178+0.008
Metalex Ventures0.03+0.005
Russel Metals31.62+0.82
Copper Mountain Mining2.24+0.06
Colorado Resources0.125-0.015
ReliaBrand Inc0.013-0.002
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.050.00
Mission Ready Services0.35+0.015

 
24130


22970

FEATURED Property
2073734602 1630 Pandosy Street
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$679,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


What I learned in China: Part 2

As per my previous article on my visit to China, we have much to learn about and from their people. It is potentially the largest market on earth with 1.3 billion people in one country but much will d...


Retirement: Health Issues

Our health is really our greatest asset and maintaining our health is of tremendous importance. You want to do what you can to ensure that health issues will not jeopardize the enjoyment of your retir...


Be quiet already!

No, you’re not crazy. There really are voices in your head. Voices that keep you from doing what you need to do during your customer care calls. It can be the voice of your teachers, your parent...

_



24156

24207


Member of BC Press Council


22632