Naver says Line messenger app mulls IPO - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Naver says Line messenger app mulls IPO

Posted: Updated:
  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:48:31 GMT
    A Salt Lake City attorney is arguing in a lawsuit that the FBI has video of the Oklahoma City bombing that shows a second person was involved.More >>
    The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were...More >>
  • Abuse suspect dead; 2 marshals, NY policeman hurt

    Abuse suspect dead; 2 marshals, NY policeman hurt

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:25 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:25:43 GMT
    Authorities say a sex-assault suspect got in a shootout with law enforcement in New York City that wounded the suspect, two federal marshals and a police officer.More >>
    A California man who skipped town after being accused of molesting a boy was killed and three law enforcement officers trying to arrest him were wounded in a daytime shootout inside a small smoke shop in one of New...More >>
  • Be ready for 'prolonged' Gaza war, Netanyahu says

    Be ready for 'prolonged' Gaza war, Netanyahu says

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:15 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:15:42 GMT
    Israel and Hamas have lowered the pace of the fighting in the three-week-old Gaza war as international efforts intensify to end the conflict that has already killed 1,030 Palestinians and 43 Israeli soldiers.More >>
    Signaling an escalation of Israel's Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a "prolonged" war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to leave...More >>
By YOUKYUNG LEE
AP Technology Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Line Corp., the operator of a popular mobile messaging app, has submitted an IPO application to the Tokyo Stock Exchange but might also seek a New York listing, its parent company Naver Corp. said Wednesday.

Naver, South Korea's largest Internet company, said the plan for an initial public offering in Tokyo is not final. Line, which is also the name of the app, could list in either New York or Tokyo, or both.

The move highlights the growth of Asian mobile messaging apps, driven in large part by the popularity of smartphones and connecting to the Internet through mobile devices. The apps have been a threat to longer-established Internet companies, which have responded by taking a stake in the upstart industry through acquisitions.

As of last month, Line had more than 450 million users. It has tens of millions of users in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Spain.

If listed, Line's market capitalization will be at least 23 trillion won ($22.2 billion), according to Lee Chang-young, an analyst at Tongyang Securities Co. That would be the same level as the market cap of Twitter Inc.

Lee said the number of monthly average users at Line is growing faster than that of Facebook or Twitter.

Other mobile messaging apps have also been involved in big deals. Facebook Inc. paid $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp and Viber Media was bought by Japan's Rakuten Inc. for $900 million.

For Internet companies that started when PCs were the predominant gateway to the Internet, messaging apps have provided a way to expand their reach to mobile phone users.

Naver owns South Korea's most-visited online search portal but is little known abroad. It reversed its fading fortunes with Line.

As the messaging app became a household name in many Asian countries, its revenues from sales of big emoticons known as stickers surged. It has diversified its revenue by courting advertisers and offering games.

Technology research company Ovum said the IPO would boost Line's presence outside Asia where most of Line's users are based.

"The IPO will not only help them get further visibility in markets outside Asia, but the resources can also be put to further marketing efforts and product innovation to grow their user base internationally," said senior analyst Neha Dharia.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.