Yello Mobile chief aims for an IPO in early 2016

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Yello Mobile chief aims for an IPO in early 2016

In a Tuesday press conference, growing mobile service provider Yello Mobile said it aims to go public early next year, despite brewing rumors and speculations over its listing and fears of a bubble in its expansion.

Yello Mobile CEO and President Lee Sang-hyuk said the company aims for a listing either on the nation’s secondary bourse Kosdaq or the Nasdaq.

In February, the rapidly growing company enlisted Korea Investment & Securities and Samsung Securities for its upcoming IPO.

The three year-old company has become a center for attention and doubt after devouring 80 start-ups and smaller companies with hefty funding from Silicon Valley and local investors.

Lee said his company will continue acquiring more Asian companies in the first half of this year. He also said, without further elaboration, additional funding is imminent from another foreign investor.

“We are not Facebook or TenCent but we aim to become like Facebook by joining forces with start-ups,” he said. “I don’t intend to acquire or merge with a certain company but I want to become a platform operator by uniting with companies of equal standing.”

He was indirectly referring to market insider criticism that his company has been posting a prodigious growth in size without “tangible” profit or achievement.

The company posted revenue of 96.3 billion won last year after a year-on-year growth of 968 percent, but saw an operating loss at 8.1 billion won. This year, it aims at 600 billion won in revenue and 70 billion won in operating profit.

Yello Mobile may be obscure to Koreans, but recent off-the-wall commercials from Coocha and Pikicast, which both belong to the company, would be recognizable to TV viewers.

The Coocha is a mobile app offering an array of information about daily deals from other shopping malls in accordance with the prices

Pikicast is a media and entertainment platform that shows a flurry of sports, travel, and entertainment video clips.

Lee said Yello Mobile administered 17 billion won on Coocha TV commercials in the second half of last year which contributed to pushing the user traffic.

“I am aware of the many rumors surrounding my company, but we plan to proceed with business at our own pace,” said Lee. “I wish that you watch us with a long-term perspective.”

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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