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Messaging Mania: Inside Tango's Huge Funding

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    NEWSLETTERS

    $280 million for a Bay Area-based messaging app? Scott Budman reports. (Published Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014)

    So, you thought the messaging mania would go away after Facebook bought What’sApp?

    LOL.

    There’s still more money – lots of it – flying around Silicon Valley aimed at those who text and send songs to each other. The latest jaw-dropping deal brings a $280 million funding round to Mountain View’s Tango. Tango is a messaging app, getting more sticky by the day as users play games and send photos and songs to each other. It’s got more than 200 million users worldwide to go with all that cash.

    The funding round, led by China’s soon-to-IPO Alibaba (talk about a company about to come into some money…), will bring lots of growth to Tango.

    Co-Founder Eric Setton, in an interview at company HQ, told NBC Bay Area “we're looking to make progress in terms of staffing...and add here in Mountain View as well as Beijing, China, where we have offices.”

    International growth, for a company that has big growth plans.

    But is all this money (for texting apps!) a sign of another bubble? Santa Clara University Business professor Robert Hendershott says maybe. Admitting that it’s crazy money flying around the Valley, he admits that this could also be a time for huge growth and innovation in tech, and that takes money. However, he says “when we start seeing Super Bowl commercials for texting apps, we’ll know we’re in a bubble.”

    So, stay on the small screens, and we should be OK. As long as those millions and millions of people keep texting and buying.

    Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman