Reservation app operator Yanolja to go public next year

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Reservation app operator Yanolja to go public next year

Reservation app Yanolja's logo is displayed on the roof of the companies headquarters in Gangnam, southern Seoul. [YONHAP]

Reservation app Yanolja's logo is displayed on the roof of the companies headquarters in Gangnam, southern Seoul. [YONHAP]

 
Korea’s biggest reservation app for accommodations and leisure activities Yanolja is planning to go public next year, the company announced Friday.
 
Yanolja will be the first so-called unicorn start-up — an unlisted company valued over $1 billion — in Korea to be traded publicly on the exchange. The company said it has yet to decide which of the two exchanges it plans to list on.
 
The main underwriter for the initial public offering (IPO) will be Mirae Asset Daewoo and Samsung Securities.
 
The 15-year-old start-up offers reservations at accommodations in more than 160 countries worldwide. It is the dominating player in the local tourism industry with around 12 million people in Korea using its platform.
 
It’s also the developer of one of the biggest hotel property management services, the software that hotels use to manage everything from reservations to housekeeping, in the world.
 
Yanolja posted 300 billion won ($268.6 million) in sales last year. The company did not provide net profit figures.
 
It hopes to use the IPO as an opportunity to diversify its business by investing in cloud services and expanding further into global markets.
 
“The IPO will be an important process for our company’s goals to transform into a global hospitality solution provider and a super app for leisure,” said an official from Yanolja. “We will contribute to the development of the [accommodation] industry through digital transformation and leading the global market.”
 
Yanolja is the latest in a series of start-ups to push for an IPO. Game developer Krafton, online-bank Kakao Bank and ride-sharing service Socar are all preparing to go public next year.
 
BY KANG JAE-EUN   [kang.jaeeun@joongang.co.kr]
 

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