Home / Software & Service News / Line invests in U.S. and French VC funds as the Asian messaging giant seeks growth in the West

Line invests in U.S. and French VC funds as the Asian messaging giant seeks growth in the West

Line for iPad

Hot on the heels of its dual IPO back in July, mobile messaging giant Line has revealed plans to synergize with local startups in the U.S. and Europe as it seeks to expand beyond its four core markets in Asia.

Through a subsidiary, Line Plus Corporation, Line said that it will invest in two venture capital (VC) firms — DAG Ventures, based out of California, and a newly-formed France-based VC firm call Korelya Capital that was set up by Fleur Pellerin, who until this year served as the French Minister of Culture and Communications. Through plowing money into these two funds, Line plans to indirectly gain stakes in smaller startups to “collect insights on trends and market conditions and build up its network within these regions,” according to a statement.

On the Line

A subsidiary of South Korea’s biggest web operator, Naver Corp, Line grew to more than 200 million users through the popularity of its WhatsApp-style mobile messaging app, though the majority of its user-base exist in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia. The company has struggled to grow in international markets, particularly in the West where it faces stiff competition from the likes of Facebook. But that didn’t stop Line from going public back in July with a dual-IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Tokyo Stock Exchange  – two months on from its inaugural trading price of $42, Line is doing pretty well with its shares now at almost $50.

Founded out of Palo Alto in 2001, DAG Ventures has some notable investments under its belt, including Zynga, Yelp, GrubHub, Eventbrite, Mint, WeWork, BitTorrent, and Huddle. Though Line hasn’t revealed how much it will invest in DAG’s funds, it did announce that its investment in the new K-Fund 1 from Korelya Capital constitutes a 50/50 joint venture between Line and its parent company Naver, with both parties pushing in €50 million euros each, representing a total amount of around $112 million (USD) between them.

Line is pretty up-front about its reasons for investing in these two funds, noting that it is currently “strategically focused on the four countries of Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia,” a focus that has hitherto included its investment strategy. But looking to the future, it has now deemed it “necessary to perform forward-looking investment activities to ensure continuous information-gathering and network-building in regions like the U.S., Europe, China, India where there is a high concentration of advanced tech companies,” it said.

In short, Line is pushing hard to expand its boundaries beyond that of a handful of Asian countries which serve as its main market, and through aligning itself with up-and-coming startups, as well as more advanced tech firms, it’s hoping it can find synergies with its own business — as well as seek out new services for its existing users in Asia.

Alongside today’s news, Line also revealed it had invested in Asia-based selfie app and Snapchat clone Snow, an app created by Line’s parent company Naver.

Get more stories like this on TwitterFacebook

Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

About Ms. A. C. Kennedy

Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

Check Also

Microsoft’s Seeing AI app for the blind now reads handwriting

Artificial intelligence took center stage at Microsoft's AI Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday. Aside from announcing AI smarts for a range of software -- from Bing to Office 365 -- the tech titan is also ramping up its Seeing AI app for iOS, which uses computer vision to audibly help blind and visually impaired people to see the world around them. According to Microsoft, it's nabbed 100,000 downloads since its launch in the US earlier this year, which convinced the tech titan to bring it to 35 countries in total, including the EU.

It's also getting a bunch of new features. The app now boasts more currency recognition, adding British pounds, US dollars, Canadian dollars, and Euros to its tally. Going beyond the color in a scene, it can also spot the color of specific objects, like clothes. Plus, it's no longer restricted to just short printed text, with handwriting recognition now part of its skill set. You can also customize the voice that it uses to speak its observations out loud, and set how fast it talks.

Finally, a musical light detector alerts you to the light in an environment with an audible tone -- Microsoft claims the tool will save users from having to touch a hot bulb or LED battery to check if it's on. Despite the big update, there's still no word on an Android launch.

Source: Microsoft