[Pangyo Tech] Naver Financial to invest up to 22.8 billion won in a US blockchain start-up

Naver Financial would make investments of 15 million dollars (about 17.1555 billion won) in TBCASoft a US blockchain developer.

On the 4th, Naver Financial announced that it would make investments of 15 million dollars in TBCAsoft in the US. Naver Financial is considering investments worth up to 20 million dollars (about 22.922 billion won).

TBCASoft is providing the blockchain technology for telecommunications companies and mobile payment service companies (MSP). TBCASoft is providing support of mobile payment among countries using the blockchain technology and running ‘HIVEX,’ a cross-carrier blockchain payment system.

Naver Financial said it decided to make strategic investments in order to find future growth engines and expand global payment system of “Naver pay”.

Attention has been paid to two factors in the announcement of investment plan. First, Naver Financial decided to invest a large amount of funding in a promising start-up instead of an affiliate company. Second, it has been working with Soft Bank.

Naver Financial has secured sound funding along with the growth of fintech business. Naver Financial’s payment amount in the second quarter is estimated to be 9.1 trillion won up 47% year on year.

Naver Financial’s capital has been used to provide support the growth of affiliate companies of Naver(CREAM, Naver Cloud, etc.). It is unprecedented that Naver Financial made investments worth tens of billions of won in a start-up.

Naver and Soft Bank have been working together which is a fact that draws attention. Soft Bank is the biggest investor of TBCASoft and this investment makes Naver Financial the second biggest investor of TBCASoft.

Naver and Soft Bank announced a business integration plan of Z Holdings run by Line, a Japanese subsidiary of Naver and Soft Bank in November 2019 and completed the integration in March.

At the time, the two companies explained the background behind their decision to integrate business. “Overseas businesses which are headquartered in the US and China are quickly catching up in the internet services market which makes us feel like lagging behind. In the face of challenge, we are going to engender synergy effects in AI, e-commerce among other areas.” The two countries are expected to continue discussing ideas related to global mobile payment services based on the investment.

Founder and CEO Ling Wu of TBCASoft said, “TBCASoft would focus on the development of HIVEX, a blockchain-based payment network with Naver Financial and Soft Bank. We would grow HIVEX network into a network that engages sellers, users and mobile payment business owners around the world.”

In the meantime, Naver financial which is expanding across the SME techfin market centered on commerce business has recently made investments worth a total of 65 million dollars (about 74.3 billion won) in HappyFresh, an Indonesian grocery delivery service platform with Mirae Asset and STIC Investments.

Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.

Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom

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