Whatsapp has raised $2 billion in a new round of financing led by private equity firm Firstmark Capital, and said it expects to complete its first acquisition in the coming months.
Whatsapp has become one of the fastest-growing mobile app providers in the world, attracting users from more than 120 countries and earning $9.3 billion in revenue last year.
The app is also one of several in the global smartphone space to be acquired by Indian tech giants, including Flipkart, Snapdeal and Uber.
Whisper, the app launched by Whatsapp last year, now has 1.1 billion active users in more than 180 countries.CEO James Park, who took over the reins in June, said the new round will help the company to expand its reach in the emerging markets.
He said Whatsapp is focusing on “developing the business, which is an ongoing process”.
“Our focus is on growing the business to enable us to further improve our offerings in emerging markets,” Park told reporters on Wednesday.
“The focus will be on expanding the product offerings, including Whatsapp.”
This round of funding will help us to continue to grow our business in emerging market.
“He said he would also look at investing in other businesses in the near term.”
There’s a lot of opportunities to work on.
It’s very exciting and exciting,” Park said.
Whispersuite, an online messaging service owned by Alibaba Group Holding, is a $1.5 billion acquisition that would make it the second-largest mobile messaging service in the US, after Snapchat.
Whisker, the platform Whatsapp acquired in January, also has been valued at $1 billion, though it has yet to launch.
The deal was led by Firstmark’s billionaire founder David Einhorn, and was the latest in a series of acquisitions by the Chinese conglomerate in recent months.
The $2.4 billion investment by FirstMark comes as WhatsApp has seen its user base grow rapidly in India.
The company has over 5 billion monthly active users and is valued at over $8 billion.