The IPO (Initial public offering) trend amongst companies and startups that had hit a record high in 2021 in South Korea has fizzled out in 2022 owing to market meltdowns, global inflation and war. Many Korean companies have called off the listings for this year, citing difficulties in getting valuations. However, KT, Korea’s leading telecommunications company, is pinning its hopes on a better future with an application for applied for a preliminary review by the Korea Exchange for the IPO of the e-book subscription service provider Millie’s Library. This year, the e-book startup plans to complete an initial public offering (IPO).
Millie’s Library, acquired last September by KT’s subsidiary,Genie Music, offers book-based content, including original content & in various forms through an e-reader. On May 27th, Millie’s Library applied for a preliminary examination to the Korea Exchange for listing on the KOSDAQ through the special exception for nonrealization of profits. The listing organizer is Mirae Asset Securities for the IPO. With the funds secured through this IPO, Millie’s Library plans to expand original content and invest in content in various fields.
Growth & expansion plans in the pipeline
Millie’s Library, which launched a monthly fixed-rate e-book subscription service in 2017, has grown into a reading platform that has contracted with 1,400 partner publishers and 110,000 content as of May 2022.
Millie’s Library was acquired by Genie Music under the KT group in September last year and is seeking synergy by collaborating with various media affiliates of KT. Millie’s Library recorded 28.9 billion won in sales last year. This is a 61% increase compared to 2020. Currently, the cumulative number of members in Millie’s Library has increased by more than 1.5 million compared to last year, and as of April this year, it has surpassed 4.5 million. It is the result of actively pioneering the market by introducing reading content with an expanded concept such as audiobooks and chatbooks and allowing audiobooks to be played in vehicles through mobile devices and PCs.
Seo Young-taek, CEO of Millie’s Library, said, “Millie’s Library is a young company that has been in service for less than six years, but it has grown explosively in a short period and has grown into the largest reading platform in Korea showing high recognition and usability.” He added, “With the vision of Millie’s Library of ‘reading and making friends without limit,’ we focus on all the capabilities and resources to broaden the horizon of book-based content. Through this, we will become a company that makes people’s daily lives more valuable and enjoyable.” Will KT be able to break the IPO jinx for 2022 with the listing on Millie’s Library on the tech-heavy Kosdaq market by the end of the year as planned remains to be seen?
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