Chat app Line backs VC funds to unlock global growth opportunities



Chat app company Line is investing in international opportunities after it announced that it is backing two VC firms outside of its home-turf in Asia: DAG Ventures in the U.S. and France-based Korelya Capital.

Line, which went public in a billion-dollar dual U.S.-Japan IPO this summer, didn’t disclose its investment into DAG Ventures, but it did say that together with parent company Naver it will put €100 million ($112 million) equally into Korelya Capital’s new K-Fund 1.

In an announcement, the company said these investments are designed to pave the way for it to move beyond its focus on Asia and grow its current 218 million monthly active user base, three-quarters of whom reside in four countries:

LINE is currently strategically focused on the four countries of Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia, and until now its investment strategy has also focused on investments related to existing LINE business in these four countries. However, looking to the future, the company has determined it is necessary to perform forward-looking investment activities to ensure continuous information-gathering and network-building in regions like the U.S., Europe, China, India where there is a high concentration of advanced tech companies (from globally dominant corporations to promising startups).

Palo Alto-based DAG Ventures is a mid-stage firm that includes Wix, Admob, Cloudera, and GrubHub among its portfolio. Korelya Capital, on the other hand, is a new fund started by former French Minister of Culture and Communications Fleur Pellerin.

This isn’t the first time that Line and Naver have invested in a VC fund. Naver is an LP in Golden Gate Ventures’ latest $60 million fund for Southeast Asia, which is also a strategic move to unlock business opportunities in the region.

This deal with VC firms comes the same day that Line announced a $45 million investment in Snow, a Snapchat clone created by Naver which gained attention in China, Korea, Japan and other parts of Asia.

Featured Image: Lee Jin-man/AP



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