Naver will invest about 35 billion won (US$31 million) in Woowa Brothers, operator of the nation’s leading food delivery app Baedal Minjok, according to news reports on Oct. 30.
With this, the Korean internet giant will become a major shareholder in Woowa Brothers under the proposed rights offering. It will be the third-largest funding that the local startup has attracted following 57 billion won from China’s Hill House Capital and 40 billion won from Goldman Sachs.
The tie-up is a win-win for both firms. Naver will strengthen its online-to-offline service business that is behind its crosstown rival Kakao, while Woowa Bros. will upgrade its platform using Naver’s advanced AI technology.
Reports say some financial investors, including IMM Investment and Stone Bridge Capital, plan to sell their stake by early November. Woowa Bros. CEO Kim Bong-jin is also expected to sell some of his stake to secure some cash as part of his recent pledge to donate 10 billion won over the next three years.
Naver has recently expanded its food-related investments, including 4 billion won in restaurant information provider Trust Us, 4.7 billion won in food delivery developer Food Tech, and 24 billion won in online delivery platform Mesh Korea.
By Alex Lee (email@example.com