Chinese mobile developer KiKa Tech told AllChinaTech on Tuesday that it secured RMB 200 million (USD 30.6 million) in Series B funding from Honghe Capital, Bole Zongheng and Zhu Ye, CEO of the game company Zeus Interactive.
The large new round of funding will amp up KiKa Tech’s plans to consolidate their strength in markets they’ve already grabbed a share of, including the U.S., Europe, Brazil and Mexico. According to Bill Hu, Founder and CEO of KiKa Tech, KiKa has taken as much as a 60% share of the third-party input method market in America.
The funding will also support its strategic plan to roll out to a wider overseas market, including languages spoken by smaller groups of people that haven’t been covered.
“At the era of mobile internet, smart devices are platforms of communication, and the keyboard is the entrance to those platforms,” Hu said.
This is the reason why he chose to stick with this input method product out of more than 70 products they developed at the beginning of the business.
KiKa Keyboard, an app providing a slew of choices including more than 1600 emojis and emoticons, trendy GIFs, stickers and customizable layouts, fonts and themes, has become the company’s star product, scoring them the honor of top developer by Google Play and 130 million users around the world in just one year after its launch.
Hu also announced KiKa Keyboard as the first keyboard to support the BEPO layout, which provides a better French-language user experience than the existing Azerty keyboard.
According to data released by KiKa, its app now supports more than 70 languages globally, and it’s now the first and only app that provides a keyboard layout for Bashkir, a language spoken by only 1.5 million, and Romansh, the rarest Romance language.
KiKa Tech, founded in 2014, is headquartered in California in order to tap the overseas market with their main KiKa Keyboard product. Unlike most Chinese companies that target the overseas market by debuting in India or Southeast Asia, KiKa initiated its business in America and Europe, where it is harder for a Chinese company to cultivate a big amount of users.
“With a team of 50% engineers graduated from renowned universities, 25% designers and 10% foreign staff, we are confident enough we can pry open the ‘mainstream’ markets,” said Hu, “and then mainstream culture would naturally crawl into smaller countries.”
KiKa is also launching a new function “Hashtag”, the Global Business Development Director of KiKa, Robert Tanner said in an interview with AllChinaTech.
With this feature introduced, users can have access to and share much value-added content, including short videos and news articles across a variety of mediums including Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Spotify, Robert said.