[THE INVESTOR] Jeon Je-wan, a Korean first generation start-up entrepreneur, has acquired Cyworld, a social networking service considered a trailblazer in the SNS sector in Korea.
Cyworld said on July 19 that Jeon, the head of streaming service Air, has recently taken over the firm after acquiring 100 percent stake in the company previously held by 29 shareholders. The exact cost of the takeover deal was not revealed, but it is estimated to be less than 1 billion won ($881,000).
Jeon founded Web portal Freechal in 1999 when a venture boom -- the first of its kind in Korea -- hit its peak.
Air provides online video streaming services that allow video chatting and webcasting.
Cyworld, launched in 1999, gained popularity among teenagers and those in their 20s in early 2000s, but stayed in moribund state up to now as many online and mobile users have flocked to other online networking services such as Facebook.
Combined with Air’s video services supporting five languages, Cyworld will transform into a video-based SNS, Jeon said.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)