[THE INVESTOR] Web portal operator Naver on Oct. 25 announced plans to hike investment in its subsidiary Snow, operator of a smartphone camera application, as part of its push for global expansion.
The company said in a regulatory filing that it would invest 80 billion won (US$70.20 million) to acquire 164,972 common stocks that will be newly issued by the subsidiary this month.
Snow was a business unit of Naver’s subsidiary Camp Mobile, but was later spun off in 2016.
Naver to ramp up investments for global expansion
The total amount of Naver’s investment in Snow will add up to 187 billion won, including the planned capital infusion.
Snow runs a smartphone camera application which has garnered immense popularity globally, including in China, Japan and Korea. Within a year since its launch in September 2015, the Snow app crossed a combined 70 million downloads in the three East Asian countries.
Despite its dominance in the domestic market, Naver has always had a thirst for global expansion. Mobile messenger Line and Naver Webtoon, an online comics platform, are some of the few services that have been successful in global markets.
Naver officials said in a conference call on Oct. 25 that the company will try to focus on further beefing up the competitiveness of Snow in the global markets instead of trying to monetize the app.
Although it boasts 270 million downloads worldwide, it currently lacks a proper monetization model.
“Naver will try to sharpen the competitive edge of Snow, first by linking it with recently launched smartphone apps, like augmented reality-based avatar app Zepeto and then try to monetize the app in earnest,” said Choi In-hyuk, an executive vice president of the firm’s business committee.
Snow established cosmetics retail firm Amuse late last year, and took over Instagram-based fashion marketing firm Heart It in June. These new services are expected to be utilized in marketing schemes for Snow.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)