LINE sets up $42M investment fund

LINE sets up $42M investment fund

10 FEB 2015

Japan-based messaging app player LINE is setting up an investment fund worth around $42 million “as part of efforts to expand its Life platform business”.

The fund is called the LINE Life Global Gateway and will target service providers operating in the areas of O2O (online-to-offline), e-commerce, payment, media and entertainment in order to “enhance the services that have evolved from LINE and reinforce the foundation for LINE to grow further as a global platform,” the company said.

At a conference held in Tokyo last year, LINE announced plans “to become a platform for everyday life for all users both online and offline under the theme of ‘Life’” and the fund has been “created to accelerate and step up these efforts.”

Currently, most of the company’s revenue comes from its messaging app and connected games platform, and the fund may be a way of ensuring it does not become too dependent on these channels.

In September, LINE, which has 181 monthly active users, delayed an IPO in order to expand the business globally and in October it announced a range of new products, some of which are now being launched, including a taxi-hailing service (LINE Taxi), music streaming (LINE Music) and e-commerce (LINE WOW).

This is a trend also found in other Asian companies like Tencent’s integration of a taxi-calling service into their popular messaging app WeChat, and Daum Kakao’s launch of Kakao Pay.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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