Building a Unicorn: Kik’s Journey to $1 Billion

Are you interested in entrepreneurship? So is Ted Livingston. Who is Ted Livingston you ask? Ted Livingston is the founder of the Waterloo based company now valued at one billion dollars (also known as a “unicorn”) Kik. He is coming to the University of Waterloo this Wednesday, October 7 from 8-9pm! Don’t miss this awesome talk and reserve your free ticket!

Ted Livingston was an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo from 2005 to 2009, studying mechatronics. In October 2010 he launched Kik, a cross platform messaging service that doesn’t require a phone number for registration, but a username instead. It is very popular for users aged 25 and under, as it can be used on any device, not simply on a cell phone. This isn’t to say that Kik doesn’t have users of all ages though. Kik is so simple that your grandma can use it, literally. It’s not uncommon to have users aged 70 and 80 signing up to use the app as well. Kik allows users to have numerous conversations at once and makes it as simplistic as kicking a ball back and forth, which is where the name originally came from.

Ted Livingston joined Velocity residence originally to create a music app by the name of “Unsynched,” but while waiting for licensing to pass on the music he incorporated a messaging app for his users. Ted soon decided to drop the music element of the app, after seeing the great success the messaging portion had, and made a second version that didn’t require a phone number for registration. Ted added a million users within 15 days of launching “Kik Messaging”, or Kik 2.0, a revamped version of their initial product “Kik Chat.” Kik added their second million users a week after that. Despite the hardships Kik went through when RIM decided to sue Kik for patent infringement, and remove the app from the Blackberry store, Kik pushed on and is now one of the most popular chat apps in the world, having received a recent investment of $50 million from Chinese giant Tencent. Quite an inspirational journey!

Kik now works out of an office in Waterloo, sharing space with several other companies; a modest location for a company that has a massive footprint. They also have grown to have locations in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

With chat apps appearing anywhere and everywhere, competition is fiercer than ever before. How does Ted do it at just 28 years old? Now is your chance to find out! Don’t miss this valuable learning opportunity to hear from an innovative, local start-up legend. Reserve your free ticket now!