Alibaba leads $280 mln investment in Tango

The Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce giant that is preparing a highly anticipated IPO in the United States, has led a $250 280 million investment in Tango, a Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of messaging and other mobile services. Tango said Alibaba invested $215 million with the additional $65 million coming from some of Tango’s prior investors. Tango previously raised $87 million from Access Industries, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Qualcomm Ventures, Toms Capital, Translink Capital and individual investors Bill Tai, Shimon Weintraub, Jerry Yang, Alex Zubillaga and others. With the latest round, Tango has now raised $367 million in total funding. Alibaba’s investment in the mobile app developer comes about a month after Facebook agreed to buy WhatsApp, a provider of mobile messaging services, for $19 billion in cash and stock.

Correction: A previous headline for this post incorrectly stated Alibaba’s investment in Tango. The Chinese e-commerce company led the round and was joined by previous investors.

PRESS RELEASE

TANGO SECURES $280 MILLION IN FINANCING LED BY ALIBABA GROUP

Registered User Growth at Tango Doubles to 200 Million from One Year Ago

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Tango, a leader in mobile messaging services, today announced it has closed a $280 million round of funding. The latest round was led by the Alibaba Group at $215 million with the additional $65 million coming from some of Tango’s prior investors.

Tango has been built on a foundation of mobile messaging features which include free video and voice calling and texting available cross-platform over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi. Over the past year, Tango has evolved into a next generation mobile messaging app that blends communication, social networking and content into a single platform.

“We are thrilled to bring on Alibaba as a strategic investor,” said Tango CEO and Founder Uri Raz. “Alibaba is a renowned disruptive innovator, and their investment in Tango is a testament to our strategy and a clear indication of the future potential of how content and services will be delivered to consumers.”

“Tango has exhibited tremendous growth because of its unique approach to combine free communications, social and content,” said Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group. “We were simply blown away by the vision and quality of the team at Tango and believe they have a disruptive way of looking at the mobile and messaging opportunity.”

Tango is at the forefront of re-imagining the way people connect, share, and have fun on their mobile devices. Since rolling out social networking features on Tango in July 2013, daily engagement has doubled. Hundreds of millions of songs have been shared between members since Tango introduced music through integration with Spotify in October 2013. In addition, the ability to play games online together with friends on Tango has driven an increasing amount of game downloads and activity.

Tango’s evolution toward an all-in-one messaging, social and content platform has helped double registered users to 200 million compared to a year ago, and monthly active users has reached 70 million.

“A whole new level of connection and sharing of experiences is available through messaging apps that fundamentally affects the way content gets distributed on mobile,” said CTO and co-founder Eric Setton. “This round of funding will enable us to continue to innovate, hire the best talent, aggressively expand our content partnerships, and build a world-class platform as we go after what is truly a big opportunity.”

Tango previously raised $87 million from Access Industries, DFJ, Qualcomm Ventures, Toms Capital and Translink Capital, as well as Bill Tai, Shimon Weintraub, Jerry Yang, Alex Zubillaga and others. Including the new round, Tango has raised $367 million in venture capital financing to date.

About Tango
Tango is a free mobile messaging service with 200 million members. Through communication, social features and a compelling content platform, Tango members discover engaging ways to connect, get social and have fun. Tango has enhanced its messaging service with an innovative content platform for game developers, advertisers, and others. Tango is available on iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Blackberry, Kindle Fire and PC and works across platforms and networks. Tango is available in 14 languages and has members in more than 224 countries. Founded in September 2009, Tango is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in Beijing, China and Austin, Texas. Visit www.tango.me for more information.

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1 Comment

  • What an incredible time it is for mobile apps. This $250 million certainly highlights how important it is for giant Internet companies like Facebook, Google and Alibaba to get access to as many users as possible.

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