Kakao Piccoma Webtoon, Korea’s leading platform company, promotes listing in Japan

(Source from Reuters/Alamy)Kakao Piccoma, a subsidiary of Kakao’s global cartoon and webtoon platform, reported on the 23rd that it is pushing to postpone its listing on the Japanese stock market to next year amid the recent sluggish IPO market. Citing multiple sources, Kakao Piccoma said it originally planned to make an IPO in December this year, but it is making such a move amid the recent decline in corporate valuation.
Kakao Piccoma is mindful that Nomura Holdings will participate as the main manager and hold an IPO in the first half of next year, but the schedule is flexible and may vary depending on market conditions, sources said. It is known that Kakao Piccoma’s target value (Valuation) is more than $6 billion (about KRW 8 trillion). When Kakao Piccoma raised investment funds last year, it wanted to maintain its valuation of 847 billion yen (about 8.2 trillion won).

(Source from Reuters/Alamy)However, this year, the IPO market is shrinking amid rising key interest rates and reducing liquidity in each country.In the case of Coupang, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, its corporate value once increased to more than $86 billion (about 115.3 trillion won) since its listing last year, but has since fallen more than 60% from its high point.Amid this atmosphere, British semiconductor design company Arm (ARM), which is preparing for IPO in the U.S., and Kakao Entertainment, another subsidiary of Kakao, have also not been able to set a specific listing schedule.

In the market, it is observed that Kakao Piccoma will also be difficult to receive the desired evaluation value.However, a source also said that Kakao Piccoma can push for an IPO with patience as it already makes profits.An official from Kakao Piccoma said, “We are planning to hold an IPO, but we are still reviewing specific matters such as the timing.” Kakao PickKoma is owned by Kakao and Kakao Entertainment with 72.9% and 18.2%, respectively. Kakao is a representative platform company in Korea and has diversified business (messenger, transportation, finance, etc.), and Kakao Entertainment has representative actors and singers in Korea (Lee Byung-hun, IU, Gong Yoo, Hyun Bin, and Monster X).He is also the second-largest shareholder of the BTS agency that we know well. In Korea, it is a platform giant as much as “Naver,” but it was regrettable that it could not enter Japan and the U.S. like Naver and was only growing in Korea, but it is aiming to be listed in Japan through a webtoon. Naver is also actively operating in Japan as a messenger called Line. Naver is developing a business by promoting a merger with Yahoo Japan, and has also started a service in the taxi sector. When communication such as mobile phones was difficult during a major disaster in Japan, Line Messenger became a big fire and began to establish itself in Japan.

Kakao Piccoma seems to be following the Naver Line. Kakao founder Beom-soo Kim, who also worked for Naver, suffered the launch of Apple’s iPhone while living in the U.S. after leaving Naver, and returned to Korea due to the expansion of the mobile phone market to reflect his belief that “gathering people makes money.”