With the string of mobile messaging exits recently (in particular Facebook’s huge $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp), Kik seems to be the only leading chat app — with 140 million registered users — that has remained independent. A recent Distimo report pointed out that Kik is competing on an equal footing for the number one spot in the US market. It is little wonder that many are betting on a Kik exit soon.

However, Kik founder and CEO Ted Livingston has penned a post saying he is “choosing not to sell” — which hints that Kik probably has had suitors that got rejected. He wrote about how at South by Southwest 2011, Beluga had just sold to Facebook for $40 million, GroupMe was about to seal a deal with Skype for around $70 million, and everyone was asking Kik to sell. Three years later, it is finding itself in a similar situation.

But once again, we believe the opportunity is just so much bigger. We want to be the network that connects the world, and the platform that enables all communication, content, and commerce to flow through it. Not just a chat app, but a chat network. So, once again, we are choosing not to sell.

To all our users and developer partners – thank you for your support. We never would have gotten this far without you. And yet, we’re just getting started.

Independence [Kik]

ReadKik sets its sights on becoming the Twitter of messaging apps