LINE delays IPO plans — report

LINE delays IPO plans — report

23 SEP 2014

LINE Corp, the company behind the messaging app of the same name, has decided not to go public this year, according to a Bloomberg report.

LINE was considering IPOs in Japan and the US, filings made by parent Naver in July suggested. Sources said the IPO would have valued LINE Corp at around $9.2 billion.

However, a Naver representative told Bloomberg that although the company considered an IPO “as one overseas strategy” it isn’t currently the right time for such a move, as the service “is showing fast and solid growth”.

LINE Corp looked set to be the first major player in the OTT messaging sector to undertake an IPO, but Kakao, which makes KakaoTalk, now looks set to beat it with plans for a stock market listing in October once its merger with South Korean internet portal Daum closes.

LINE, which had 490 million users at the end of July, generates revenue from the sale of stickers along with mobile games and business services. It also offers free voice and video calling and a camera app.

In addition, it has developed an e-commerce app called LINE Mall, which has the potential to generate significant revenue in the future.

Akira Morikawa, LINE Corp CEO, previously said he was targeting 500 million users by the end of the year, a figure he aims to double in 2015.

It is the most popular messaging app in Japan, but efforts to localise its services and content for other markets has contributed to significant user bases in markets including Thailand and Taiwan, as well as parts of Europe and Latin America. It wants to expand its reach to markets like the US and China.

The LINE app generated revenue of JPY18.2 billion ($167 million) for the second quarter of 2014, a 146 per cent year-on-year increase.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

Read more