ONE Store, Korea’s second-largest app market, will be expanding into Asia and Europe markets this year. With the Korean market success in its stride, ONE Store is now aiming for a global footprint. ONE Store will expand internationally by adopting its successful domestic market strategies like a favorable commission structure for developers, wide-ranging benefits for users, and appealing Korean content for the global market.
“2022 will be the year we start establishing a bridgehead for global expansion,” says Lee Jae-Hwan, CEO of ONE Store. “As we also prepare to be listed on the KOSPI this year, we also have an eye on going beyond the Korean market to secure a competitive share in the global market.”
The Korean e-commerce startup was established in 2016. It has revolutionized the app market industry in Korea with its low market fees of 20%, which is 30% for other app stores like Google’s Play Store. According to the mobile big data analysis platform MOBILEINDEX, ONE Store’s domestic app market share in 2021 was 13.8%, ranking second and exceeding the Apple app store (11.6%).
The company launched the market fee reduction to 20 % in 2018 and since then has shown tremendous growth, with most Korean app developers preferring ONE Store. In 2020, the platform recorded 38.3% growth, which is 3.5 times higher than that of the global app market by the first half of 2021. In the third quarter of 2021, the total transaction volume for ONE Store grew to 27.8% year-over-year, recording 13 consecutive quarters of transaction volume growth.
App developers have widely acknowledged the value of ONE Store, contributing to its rapid growth. According to a 2019 research conducted by ONE Store, developers had increased their earnings by 27% and their sales by 20% since joining ONE Store.
Cross-platform services & content development
ONE Store will also be investing aggressively in cross-platform services and content businesses. In August 2021, the company unveiled its corporate vision as a “Global multi-OS content platform” to connect various services, devices, OS (operating systems), and business areas globally. ONE Store has forged partnerships with a number of global companies, such as Blizzard, Microsoft and Tencent. It has co-launched with Tencent a beta service, “ONE GameLoop,” a cross-platform that allows users to enjoy the same game experience on both mobile and PC.
In June 2021, ONE Store received 16.8 billion won (about $15 million) investment from Microsoft and “Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners” (DTCP), an investment company of Deutsche Telekom. The investment by global companies came three months after attracting investments from domestic investors like KT and LGU+.
IPO on KOSPI in May 2022
ONE Store is also gearing up to get listed on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI). The startup will launch its two-day book building process starting on April 25 to list its shares on KOSPI. The company will invite public subscriptions on May 2 and 3. It applied for preliminary review to the Korea Exchange in November 2021 and received approval recently.
The app store operator aims to float 6.66 million shares, including 4.725 million new shares and 1.935 shares sold by existing shareholders. New shares will account for about 71% of total shares offered in the IPO. A consortium of SKS Private Equity and Kiwoom Capital will sell some of its 3.87 million shares.
ONE Store has proposed a price band of 34,300 won ($28.29) and 41,700 won ($33.95). Based on its IPO stock price guidance, the company’s market capitalization is estimated to be between 914 billion won ($74 billion) and 1.1 trillion won($89 billion). NH Investment & Securities and KB Securities are lead underwriters, with SK Securities co-leading the deal. Daishin Securities and Hana Financial Investment have participated in an underwriting syndicate.
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