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Kik is reportedly considering shutting down its messaging app, sending layoff notices to Kin employees

Steven Zheng

Kik Interactive, the Ontario-based startup behind popular mobile messaging app Kik, is considering shutting down the app, according to a report by local media outlet Calcalist.

Citing anonymous sources, Calcalist is reporting that Kik Interactive is moving Kik app users to alternative platforms. The startup has also sent layoff notices to 70 employees of its Israeli cryptocurrency subsidiary Kin, according to the sources, though Calcalist reported some "will be offered the option of transferring to a new company that is based on the same technology."

Kik has been wrapped in a legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the issuance of its KIN tokens. In 2017, Kik raised $100 million in an initial coin offering for the tokens and the KIN ecosystem it planned on building. The SEC believes the company issued unregistered securities. 

In a thread on the Kin Foundation subreddit, Kin Foundation Communications Manager Kevin Ricoy seemingly confirmed at least part of Calcalist's reporting, and said additional information would be forthcoming.

"I can confirm a restructure is happening. An official statement with more information will be released shortly. The Kin Foundation is not shutting down, and the development of the Kin ecosystem will continue," he said.

We've reached out to Ricoy for additional comment and will update this post if he responds.