China: Kika secures $30.6m Series B; BloomMe secures $600k

Photo: REUTERS/JASON LEE

Kika Tech has raised a $30.6 million Series B investment from Hong Kong and Israeli investors, while BloomMe has secured funding from a syndicate consisting of anonymous investors.

Kika Tech raises $30.6m Series B

Chinese-American startup venture Kika Tech secured a $30.6 million Series B investment in a round co-led by Chinese investor and Zeus Interactive CEO Zhu Ye, in addition to Bole Zongheng and Honge Capital.

Headquartered in California and founded in 2014, the firm os the creators of an emoji-based keyboard app for iOS and Android. Kika claims to be the market leader in the US, Europe, Mexico and Brazil, with more than 130 million downloads globally and 20 million daily active users, as well as supporting the use of obscure languages at risk of extinction.

With the latest round of investment, Kika Tech will consolidate its current market share in the United States,Europe, Brazil, and Mexico while also supporting a strategic plan to introduce the product to a wider overseas audience.

Commenting on the investment, Kika CEO, Bill Hu, said, “Kika has always been about helping people communicate their ideas and feelings in a way that best represents them. We are in the era of mobile Internet, and smart devices have become the platforms of modern day communication. The keyboard is the natural entrance into those platforms.”

Advertised as durable, the app claims to possess awareness of trending hashtags and GIFs, making it a valuable tool for mobile users communicating on social media platforms like Twitter. The app can also be used on messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat, Slack and Line.

As part of product development, the app is intending to introduce an emoji recommendations feature based on the user’s typing, as well as emoji anticipation and enhanced auto-correct abilities and GIF suggestions.

“The most impressive thing about Kika is the detail and passion the engineers and the entire Kika team have for users and making the perfect experience for users. I have invested in a number of Chinese companies, but rarely do you find a group of talented Chinese entrepreneurs with the skillset, success, and focus on growing a business in the Americas,” said Ye.

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BloomMe secures more than $600k from investors

Hong Kong-based spa and salon booking marketplace BloomMe has secured a round of funding from a syndicate of five anonymous Hong Kong and Israel-based investors. The financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed.

Initially reported by Geektime, the spa booking app offers a live booking system it claims significantly reduces administrative overheads for spa receptionists, as well as allowing users to instantaneously make bookings.

Founded by Philipp Koblenz, Iella Peter and Michael Geva in Hong Kong in 2013, with its official launch in 2015, BloomMe  maintains a staff of 20. Their in-house programming teams are based in Israel and Kiev.

CFO of BloomMe, Wolfgang Ettlich, stated that when included with investments from founders, the investment amount is now estimated to be slightly more than $600,000.

According to the firm, most of the new investment will be channeled towards further further software development of their iOS and Android apps, as well as their merchant back-end systems.

The firm hopes to enhance and improve their user interface (UI), as well as improve their website with web-based bookings. and more advanced reporting functionality for spa partners.”

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