Tango, the mobile messaging app, has raised $280 million in a new in Series D funding round led by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The investment gives Alibaba a minority stake in the messaging service.
Following footsteps of Facebook who recently bought WatsApp messaging app, Alibaba has invested in Tango messaging app. Moreover Alibaba has also introduced a WeChat competitor called Laiwang however the service isn’t doing good in the market so far.
Precisely, out of $280 million Series-D funding Alibaba invested $215 million and the remaining amount of funding came from Tango’s earlier investors, which include Access Industries, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Jerry Yang. Earlier Tango has raised $40M in March 2012 from investors like AI SMS, Qualcomm, DFJ and Long Sea Limited.
Tango is a mobile messaging application that allows users to text, play games and make free voice and video calls. Tango is consistently in the top 25 on Google Play and top 100 in the iTunes App Store.
Tango is available in 14 languages and has subscribers in more than 224 countries with nearly one-third of its members in the U.S.
Tango has recently announced that it has doubled its registered users in just a year and it’s currently around 200M registered users and 70 million active users.
Tango’s co-founder and CTO Eric Setton said the Facebook acquisition proved the value of mobile messaging services. He said the money would be used to build Tango’s market share and its technology.
Tango founders tells story behind conceiving the messaging app began as something of an Apple FaceTime competitor, at a time when FaceTime was limited to specific iPhone models and required Wi-Fi to work. Tango came in with an alternative service that allowed users to make video calls on iOS or Android, and over 3G networks.