Line - the first messenger on IPO
Japanese messenger Line placed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange July 14 this year. At the start of trading its shares rose by a third, and capitalization increased for more than $ 7.5 billion, according to the stock exchange data. Line is the first messenger to be released on the IPO.
Attracted from the IPO funds the company will spend on further development in Asia and expansion to Western markets.
The company has placed 22 million shares at a price $ 32.8 per share on the New York Stock Exchange. During the first half an hour of trading value of shares rose for more than 30% and reached maximum $ 44.5 per share. Later, growth slowed down to 25.24%, the price "sprang back" to $ 41.13 per share. However, Line capitalization after the IPO has increased from $ 6.9 billion to $ 7.7 billion. The company is valued at $ 9.34 billion, Reuters notes.
Funds attracted from IPO the company will spend on further development in Asia and expansion to Western markets, where WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger leads.
Experts have already called it the largest deployment of IPO in 2016 in the technology industry.
However, this is already second company's attempt to go public. The first was in summer, 2014: investors assessed the company at nearly $ 10 billion, but the management decided to postpone the deployment, in order to arrange financial results. The company at that time was "disorganized" and business "by spirit" was more like a start-up, pointed out CEO of Line Takeshi Idezava in an interview with Fortune.
At the same time, Line remains unprofitable.
Over the past two years the company managed to triple revenues from $ 352 million in 2013 to $ 1.1 billion by the end of 2015. At the same time Line remained unprofitable: the only year when the service was able to show $ 17.8 million profit was 2014, but already in 2015 it returned to a loss of $ 71 million. The company didn't manage to maintain revenue growth, which follows from the hand-out published before the IPO.
Line Messenger appeared in 2011 as a reaction of Japanese telecommunications industry to the devastating earthquake. In just a few months before the launch power of nature not only damaged a nuclear power plant "Fukushima", but also left a significant part of the country without phone service. To communicate with each other, members of the Japanese "subsidiary" Naver - Internet provider NHN Japan - have developed a messenger. The service allowed to chat and make voice calls without using cellular.
Interesting fact: At the first stage of development Line's key difference from its rivals were stickers - pictures of animated characters that help users to share emotions without words. Today stickers remain one of the main items of Line's revenue. Their content ranges from branded stickers Line Friends like bear Brown and hare Cony to players of "Barcelona". In addition to stickers, one of the main sources of revenue are gaming applications.
Today Line is the seventh most popular messenger in the world. As of spring 2016 its monthly active audience was 218 million people, while the number of users exceeds 1 billion WhatsApp. Now sole owner of Line is a South Korean Naver: If the option is released the company will retain 81.3% of the shares, new investors will get 18 .7%.
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