Kakao unit Podotree gets 125B won investment

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Kakao unit Podotree gets 125B won investment

Podotree, a content-creating subsidiary of Kakao, has secured a 125 billion won ($106.56 million) investment from a consortium led by Anchor Equity Partners.

Singapore’s GIC, a sovereign wealth fund, is a member of the consortium, which will acquire the common stocks issued by Podotree through the third-party allocation of new shares.

Podotree and Kakao have jointly run social network service Kakao Page since April 2013. Similar to Facebook or Instagram, Kakao Page taps the nearly 50 million users of Korea’s top mobile messenger KakaoTalk and has been optimized for mobile user interface.

Since adding paid subscription content services, Kakao Page has posted consistent growth. Kakao Page has 9.5 million accumulated users and daily revenue from the service has topped 470 million won.

Anchor Equity Partners valued Podotree at 500 billion won after recognizing the potential of the synergy that Kakao Page will be creating with Daum Webtoon, a Webtoon subsidiary that was launched in September.

Podotree plans to expand both services and advance into Japan and the United States. Podotree began as a start-up launched by Kim Beom-soo, Kakao’s co-founder and current board chairman, and Lee Jin-soo, former head of marketing at NHN, in July 2010. The company became a subsidiary of Kakao in December 2015 after Kim relinquished his 28.6 percent stake.

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