With Alibaba’s IPO seeming likely to raise $21 billion, the next question is what the Chinese ecommerce platform will do with all that money.
Market analysts Ovum reckon that US mobile messaging platform Tango is a likely target.
That’s partly because Alibaba has already invested $215 million into Tango.
Equally importantly is that the 250 million-strong community gives it the opportunity to compete with Tencent’s WeChat/Weixin and China Mobile’s Fetion messaging networks in China, as well as a strong foundation for Alibaba’s mobile expansion into the North American and European markets.
In that context, Pamela Clark-Dickson, Ovum’s senior consumer analyst reckons that Alibaba may well be considering a move for Tango, which is apparently undergoing a new funding round that would value it at $1.5 billion.
Another good match - and opportunity - for Alibaba is that Tango is moving heavily into mobile games.
As well as its $25 million fund to encourage thirdparty developers to integrate its platform, its own internally-developed game Road Riot currently has around 1 million daily active players.
For its own part, Alibaba is also moving into mobile games with its own app distribution platform in China; something it’s supporting with the Alipay payment system, the purchase of the UC Browser business and a $120 million investment in US F2P publisher Kabam.