Thirteen years ago, USV invested in the Kik, the company behind the popular messaging app of the same name, and I joined the Board. That set me off on a journey that went from mobile messaging (Kik), to crypto (Kin), to payments (Code).
One of the things about me, and my partners at USV, is we tend to stick with companies and their founders for the long haul. One can argue the merits of that approach, but it is what we do, and this particular journey is an excellent example.
When the Kik messenger app lost out in the race to become the dominant mobile messenger, the team, led by Kik's founder Ted Livingston, pivoted to building a native cryptocurrency, Kin, that would work inside the Kin messenger. That was a novel idea at the time and we are only now starting to see how powerful messaging and money are together in a single app.
That led to the idea of building a developer ecosystem around Kin, which led to the Kin Rewards Engine, another novel idea of giving developers an economic incentive to build on a crypto asset. That idea has very much come of age now.
After giving Kin to the ecosystem, and selling the Kik messenger, Ted and the team behind Kik and Kin, started a non-profit to build the killer app for Kin, called Code.
After two and half years of iterating and building, they have formed a new for-profit company called Code to bring to market a global payments app, also called Code. And they have raised a round of financing to support the go-to-market effort.
We are very bullish on payment applications being built on web3 rails. The Code team has a novel and different approach to the market that we are excited about.
And, of course, we are always eager to support a team that we have worked with over a long period of time and built strong and deep relationships with.