] Hanwha Galleria has invested 2.5 billion won (US$2.30 million) in Ticket Monster (TMon) affiliate Smile Ventures to acquire a 30 percent stake, according to industry sources on Dec.11.
The e-commerce affiliate specializes in overseas purchases. There was speculation that Hanwha and TMon would establish a joint venture, but Hanwha finally decided to invest in a business division that was spun off from the e-commerce firm.
“It’s a financial investment and not a joint venture. Once the company grows, we will consider cooperation projects, but it is too early to tell,” said a Hanwha Galleria official.
Hanwha’s investment is expected to help both parties as the deal will enable it to utilize Smile Ventures’ overseas purchase database while Smile Ventures will acquire such needed capital to expand its business.
TMon has been offering services that makes it easier to shop for products from overseas department stores or famous shopping malls on its homepage. In addition, TMon has begun to prepare for new businesses as competition in the online mall industry has intensified. In order to focus on new businesses, the company has established a number of small business units. It is a spin-off strategy initiated by an in-house venture team and attracts investment for each business segment.
Hanwha Galleria currently operates department stores, duty-free shops, and food businesses. Industry watchers expect Smile Ventures’ growth to trigger synergies such as selling imported products from Hanwha Galleria.
By Alex Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org