Chat app Line to boost $1.33BN by way of convertible bonds to double down on monetary companies • TechCrunch


Transfer over stickers and video games: Japanese messaging app agency Line has announced it’s elevating round 148.1 billion yen ($1.33BN) by means of convertible bonds to fund aggressive growth into the monetary companies enterprise, Reuters stories. 

Line stated it plans to spend many of the cash on selling its Line Pay service and for different new monetary companies by the tip of 2021.

The messaging platform has been concerned in fee choices for some years, launching Line Pay at the end of 2014 — to let customers make funds by means of the app at affiliated on-line and offline shops by registering their bank cards.

Line Pay additionally helps p2p funds between customers of the platform, which has some 164M month-to-month energetic customers in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Whereas common in elements of Asia, the messaging platform has did not develop utilization past its core areas — unsurprisingly given how fiercely aggressive the area is — with the likes of China’s WeChat and Fb owned WhatsApp standing in its manner. However whereas consumer progress has stalled, Line has managed to develop income from its present consumer base. And doubling down on monetary companies seems to be its progress technique going ahead.

It has just lately began experimenting with crypto — asserting the forthcoming launch of a cryptocurrency token (known as Hyperlink) late final month, and growing its personal blockchain to energy it, in what seems to be a bid to drive consumer engagement on its platform. Although it has lengthy used a digital foreign money (Line Cash) on its platform.

Earlier this yr Line additionally introduced the launch of a Singapore-based crypto change, known as BitBox.

It’s not doing an Preliminary Coin Providing (ICO) for the Hyperlink token launch, presumably to side-step the authorized questions round token gross sales. So the convertible bond sale seems to be its various (conventional) route for elevate funds for the push to develop its monetary companies enterprise.

In a press release right this moment Line stated it will subject zero coupon convertible bonds maturing in 2023 and 2025.

Reuters stories {that a} portion of the bonds will probably be issued to its South Korea-based mum or dad Naver Corp to keep up its possession above a sure stage.

It added that Naver’s stake would fall to 70.42 p.c from the present 72.86 p.c when all of the bonds are transformed into inventory.

Within the doc asserting the forthcoming issuance of the bonds, Line additionally says it can use a number of the funding (~$430M) for additional funding in AI, together with its Line Clova AI assistant and “associated companies”.



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