South Korean internet giant Kakao Corp has seen major success during its private initial coin offering (ICO) and will raise more funds this week.
Kakao Doubles Down
As Bloomberg reported March 10, Kakao, which confirmed it has raised $90 million from token sales, wants to double the figure to $180 million — and could even do so this week.
The company is building a blockchain platform, Klaytn, via Ground X, a dedicated off-shoot based in Tokyo, Japan. “There’s going to be a wide spectrum of services,” the latter’s CEO Jason Han said. “We’re continuing to have conversations with Kakao [about content.]”
Klaytn’s initial capital round ran from October to December last year, initially reported as a giant $300 million plan, attracting participation from various venture capital outfits including Translink Capital. The goal is for the platform to become a gaming-focused hub. Ground X is currently in agreements with 26 companies to host their apps.
Keeping Regulators Happy
The ICO’s success, meanwhile, presents an increasingly rare bullish case for the fundraising tool — which has suffered as a result of increasing regulatory scrutiny.
As Bitcoinist reported, South Korea is no exception in this regard, having opted to keep a 2017 ban on ICOs in place late last year.
Through its acceptance of only vetted private investors, Kakao managed to stay on the right side of the law, Bloomberg added — both at home and in the eyes of jurisdictions such as the US.
An example of the phenomenon known as a “reverse ICO” — through which extant companies use digital token sales to gain extra funds – reports first hinted about the offering back in March.
Ground X will, meanwhile, embark on an “aggressive” hiring spree this year — adding to its 65 employees as it eyes a 10-million strong user base by 2020.
A testnet version of Klaytn launched in October, around the time of the initial fundraising.
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Author: Esther Kim