VentureBeat has learned that under-the-radar video-based social network Keek, which just hit 58 million users, is currently raising a massive $100 million round of financing.
Keek, which just recently raised $18 million in January of this year, is a sort of YouTube/Twitter mashup. Users post short videos — up to 36 seconds long — similarly to Instagram and Vine. But the video-based social network, which is growing at the rate of 250,000 new users a day and is the top video app in 18 countries globally, has largely flown under the Silicon Valley radar, perhaps because it is based in Toronto, Canada.
Users add their video “Keeks” from its mobile apps, primarily, or from their desktop webcams, follow other users, and comment on each others’ content.
A recent Keek from Kim Kardashian:
While the new round has not been publicized yet, Keek signed Morgan Stanley almost two months ago to lead the raise. A source very close to the company that I’ve talked to described the financing as “a hundred million dollar round,” but the actual amount could vary between $50 and $100 million, depending on the success of the effort. Company valuation being floated for the round ranges between $600 and $900 million.
That aligns fairly well with what Keek’s leadership sees as the fast-growing company’s value. Asked if he would consider an acquisition offer, Keek’s CEO reportedly said: “unless it has a B in front of it, I’m not interested.”
Top users of Keek include the social-media-mad Kardashian klan.
Kim Kardashian has almost two million followers on Keek, while sister Khloe has 1.3 million. Family member Kylie Jenner has over 113 million video views on the social network, and Kourtney Kardashian 1.26 million followers. British Olympic swimmer Tom Daley is another top “Keeker.”
Interestingly, Keek is led not by a 20-something Zuckerberg-ish wunderkind, but a nearly retirement-age 64-year-old Isaac Raichyk. That’s unusual in this space, but he does have a programming background, and he is a serial entrepreneur, having started three companies, including one he took public way back in 1994.
While Vine and Instagram are the obvious competitors for Keek, a new entrant into the social video scene by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, MixBit, is also one to watch.
Raichyk founded Keek in 2011.
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