Microsoft invests in One Store app market
One Store, a Korean app market, has raised $15 million in investments from Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP), SK Telecom said Tuesday.
The size of the stakes purchased were not disclosed.
A venture involving Korea’s three mobile carriers and Naver, One Store is considered Korea’s take on Google’s App Store and is currently the second most used app market for local smartphone users.
Before Microsoft and DTCP joined, SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ owned 53.9 percent in the company. Of the rest, 26.3 percent was owned by Naver, while 19.4 percent was owned by financial investors. SK Telecom heads the app store’s operation.
In a statement, SK Telecom said the company will cooperate with the two overseas partners to expand opportunities for Korea’s game industry.
SK Telecom has partnered with Microsoft for 5G-based cloud gaming, jointly introducing Microsoft’s Xbox cloud service to Korean customers. With Deutsche Telekom, the plan is to leverage the German company’s presence in Europe to offer Korean game access to the global market.
One Store expanded its share against dominant player Google after the U.S. IT firm announced a policy change in September 2020 that would force commissions on all in-app purchases from July.
While Google became the target of public criticism, One Store boosted marketing activities to position itself as a local app store supporting Korean app developers. During the first quarter, the Korean app store’s revenue jumped 35.2 percent on year, according to IGAWorks data. One Store is currently preparing to go public this year.
“One Store has now become Korea’s representative app market owned by telecommunication companies and IT firms from both home and abroad,” said Lee Jae-hwan, CEO of One Store.
“Based on these investments, we will make redoubled efforts to build a sound app market ecosystem in Korea, while expanding our presence into the global market.”
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [email@example.com]