Wednesday, October 22nd12.6°C
23840
22916

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

23015


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14312.07-235.64
S&P CDNX808.00-14.28
DJIA16461.32-153.49
Nasdaq4382.847-36.632
S&P 5001927.11-14.17
CDN Dollar0.8899-0.0009
Gold1241.30-10.3999
Oil79.93-2.03
Lumber329.90+0.30
Natural Gas3.658-0.053

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12+0.02
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.15-0.02
Cantex0.055-0.025
Anavex Life Sciences0.198+0.006
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.005
Russel Metals32.53-0.56
Copper Mountain Mining2.10-0.07
Colorado Resources0.145-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.013+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.405-0.055

 





FEATURED Property
21042533 Bdrm Family home with Suite potential
$359,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...


Experts share strategies in Kelowna

The third week in October is “Small Business Week”, a week dedicated to supporting local, small businesses. The week was designed to bring awareness to Canadians about the role small busin...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22771