PROGRAMMATIC LUNCH NYC

Japan's Line Aims to Raise £1bn in IPO

Tim Maytom

line messaging app
Japanese messaging app creators Line Corp is set for a dual initial public offering this week, appearing on both the New York and Tokyo stock exchanges with the hopes of raising over $1.3bn ($1bn) in capital.

The pricing for shares has been set at the top of its marketed range, reflecting a healthy appetite among investors to grab a piece of what is likely to be the world's biggest tech listing of the year.

Line has set the IPO price at ¥3,300 (£25) per share, compared with its book-building range of ¥2,900 to ¥3,300, and a lower initial range that it bumped up last week after demand proved to be high.

The IPO pricing values the company at ¥693bn (£5.3bn), above what was predicted last month, and including an overallotment arrangement, will see the company raise up to ¥133bn in share sales.

Line's messaging app launched in 2011 in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that affected large areas of Japan, and was quickly adopted as an alternative to failing traditional communication methods. It has become the country's dominant over-the-top messaging platform, making the bulk of its revenue from the sale of emojis and digital stickers, as well as games.

Unlike many other Asian messaging apps, Line has not made many efforts to transform itself into a more versatile platform for mCommerce, but following the injection of cash that the IPO will provide and pressure from new shareholders to generate profits, this could all change.

Don’t forget to enter the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. The Early Bird deadline for submissions is 22 July. More details here.