Alibaba pours $215M into Tango at $1.1B valuation; implications for BBM?

|About: Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)|By:, SA News Editor

A month after Facebook spent $19B on WhatsApp, soon-to-be-public Alibaba (ABABA) is investing $215M into messaging/VoIP app Tango at a $1.1B valuation.

BlackBerry (BBRY) investors might want to take notice, as Tango and BBM are close to each other in scale. While WhatsApp claims a market-leading 465M MAUs, Tango claims 70M. Last month, BlackBerry exec John Sims disclosed BBM's base had grown to 85M MAUs since the launch of Android/iOS apps last fall.

The Tango deal is the latest in a string of investments made by Alibaba to grow its Web/mobile empire as a 3-way battle between the e-commerce giant, Tencent, and Baidu continues raging. It comes a day after Tencent disclosed its WeChat mobile messaging platform had 355M MAUs (the lion's share in China) at the end of 2013.