Krafton, the Korean game startup known for its game PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds), will be acquiring ‘Between,’ a Korean dating app from Socar subsidiary mobility startup VCNC. The amount of the acquisition deal has not been disclosed.
Krafton, which is about to go public in the second half of the year, is expected to increase its valuation by diversifying its business. VCNC aims to focus on the mobility business. VCNC’s Between division will be integrated into a newly established subsidiary ‘Between Us’ by Krafton in March by June.
Between gets integrated with new section at Krafton
Between is a messenger app for couples developed by VCNC CEO Park Jae-wook in 2011. The app, free to download, lets couples chat, plan dates, share their favorite photos & videos, make voice calls, track anniversaries and special dates, etc. The app makes revenue by selling unique emoticons, premium upgrades, and targeted advertising. Between is quite popular in Korea and overseas as a dating app. As of 2018, it recorded 1 million daily users and 26 million global downloads. Since then, Lee Jae-woong, former CEO of Socar, acquired VCNC, and it was incorporated into Socar, which runs the mobility service ‘Tada’.
The newly created ‘Between Us’ section of Krafton will be in charge of database search, development, sales, information and communication (IT) services, education and consulting, advertisement and advertisement agency, planning, exhibition, and subsidiary projects in the field of culture and arts. Krafton’s subsidiary, PubG Co., Ltd., Sohn Hyun-il, head of the investment division, has been named the executive director of Between.
Meanwile, the gaming startup Krafton’s is preparing for an IPO launch in second half of 2021 that could take the company’s valuation to $27.2 billion. The IPO could also make the Korean startup one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. Krafton’s PUBG has grown tremendously since its launch in 2017, with more than 70 million copies sold till the second quarter of 2020 and selling more. PUBG has been ranked as the top-grossing game of 2020 with more than $2.6 billion in revenue. With the IPO, Krafton’s CEO Kim Chang-han, a coding champion, could look at the prospect of joining the billionaire’s club. Krafton has hired Mirae Asset Daewoo to lead the IPO plan.
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