According to a report on TOI, messaging app Line will soon list its shares in Tokyo and NY, in a potentially one of the biggest intial public offerings (IPO) of 2016. Japanese media reported that the firm was set to get the approval on Friday and might go public as early as next month.
The Naver subsidiary plans to raise about 100 billion Yen ($933 million) in a sale that would increase its value by about six times. A Bloomberg report cited unnamed sources saying that the sale could raise an amount between $1 billion and $2 billion. This figure essentially means that it will be the biggest IPO this year. It will be the biggest in Tokyo since Japan Post made its trading debut in November 2015 worth $11.5 billion.
Neither Line nor TSE has confirmed these reports, but the deal is likely to be announced on Friday. Although the company has confirmed submitting documents to both Japan and New York.
The messaging service was launched in 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami tragedy damaged the telecom infrastructure in the country, forcing people to resort to online resources.
The app combines attributes from Skype, Facebook, and WhatsApp to allow users to make free calls, send IMs and post photos and short videos. Hugely popular among teenagers for their stickers, Line has seen a massive growth in Japan. It is only a matter of time before they start thinking about making it big in other neighboring countries like India.
The app is said to have 200 million active monthly users and is largely popular in Asian markets such as Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia. The company is seeking to expand to bigger markets such as the US and Europe. Going public in New York might just be the right opening for this.