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Line to acquire Japanese mobile video ad platform Five


Mobile messaging giant Line is to acquire Tokyo-based mobile ad tech company Five. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Line, which is a subsidiary of South Korea’s biggest web operator, Naver Corp, has grown to more than 220 million users through the popularity of its WhatsApp-style messaging app across a handful of Asian markets — including Japan.

Founded in 2014, Five offers a video ad distribution platform for Japanese media companies and advertisers. Line actually started rolling out its own ad distribution platform last year, and with Five on board, the company now hopes double down on its video advertising efforts on smartphones, noting that Five’s video ad technologies will “contribute to speeding up the global growth and expansion of the Line Group’s ad distribution business,” according to a press release.

“Five has shown incredible growth as a company,” noted Line CEO and president Takeshi Idezawa. “As a result of this capital alliance, and through collaboration between Five and Line, the companies will make use of their respective strengths and further accelerate the growth and expansion of the ad distribution business. Line will endeavor to provide a valuable and appealing service to advertisers, media partners, and users.”

This deal represents Line’s second announced acquisition in the space of two weeks, having snapped up Indonesian carpooling platform TemanJalan in late November. The news also comes two months after Line launched its $125 Clova Wave smart speaker in Japan, ahead of Amazon and Google launching their respective products.

The Five acquisition is expected to close in mid-December.

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