Krafton, the Korean gaming startup behind superhit mobile game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), is on a buying spree as it readies to go public in few days. The gaming company bought a ‘chat entertainment content’ startup Thingsflow recently, and in May 2021, it had acquired ‘Between,‘ a Korean dating app from Socar subsidiary mobility startup VCNC.
The latest acquisition, Thingsflow, has developed ‘Hellobot,’ a chatbot content platform based on character IP. The cumulative number of app users of HelloBot has exceeded 4 million as of May 2021, and it is viral among the MZ generation. Thingsflow is servicing HelloBot in Korea and Japan.
Thingsflow also launched Korea’s first interactive story platform Story Play, in May, where users become the protagonists of the story, choose which choices to make at the moment of decision, and collect multiple endings that change accordingly.
Merging entertainment business
Krafton plans to expand the existing services and develop a new entertainment business model by combining Thingsflow’s interactive content production capabilities and know-how with Between.
“I am very happy to be able to create an interactive content world that combines technology, originality, and competitiveness with Krafton,” said Lee Su-ji, CEO of Things flow. “It will add strength to my efforts,” he said. Kim Chang-Han, CEO of Krafton, said, “Things flow is a team rich in experience and know-how that has successfully applied innovative technologies such as AI as well as insight and knowledge on content consumption trends to services. We will build a future full of fun that we can have.”
In addition to game production, Krafton continues to invest in non-game businesses such as IP discovery and expansion, deep learning, and entertainment. Meanwhile, Krafton decided to lower its IPO price range ahead of its market debut on KOSPI, following that its valuation is “overrated.”
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