Web3 Platform LineNext Receives $140M in Funding

LineNext, a web3 unit of the Japanese messaging app Line, raised $140 million in its funding led by Crescendo Equity Partners, a Peter Thiel-backed private equity firm in South Korea, to expand its web3 platform. The new funding comes nearly a year after LineNext released its browser-only beta service — a consumer-to-consumer(C2C) marketplace launched on its non-fungible token (NFT) platform DOSI. The company plans to use the new capital to launch its official NFT platform DOSI and web3 services in January next year. LineNext will also release a new social app allowing users to communicate via AI avatars and launch new Web3 games utilizing Line’s character Brown and Friends. LineNext Korea manages Web 3 business strategy, while Line Next U.S. operates the NFT platform business.

LineNext, a unit of the popular Japanese messaging app Line, has recently received a funding of $140 million in its latest round led by Crescendo Equity Partners, a private equity firm backed by renowned tech investor Peter Thiel in South Korea. This investment will be used to expand its web3 platform and establish its NFT marketplace, DOSI, as a leading player in the Web 3 world.

Last year, LineNext released a beta version of its consumer-to-consumer(C2C) marketplace on its NFT platform, DOSI, accessible only through a browser. This platform catered to various Web 3 services such as NFT platforms, avatar features, games, and entertainment, in order to gauge their potential. Woosuk Kim, business director of LineNext, stated in an interview with TechCrunch that this was done to get an understanding of the market and its various facets.

The newly secured funding will now allow LineNext to launch its official NFT platform, DOSI, and associated web3 services in January 2022. This includes the launch of the DOSI mobile app, which will be available for global users, and the integration of Line’s NFT partners in Japan into the platform. The company is also aiming to help traditional Web 2 brands transition into the Web 3 world through the provision of a new development tool, empowering users to directly trade their digital products on DOSI. Additionally, LineNext will be launching a new social app that will enable users to communicate with each other through AI avatars and introduce Web 3 games featuring Line’s popular characters, Brown and Friends.

Kim told TechCrunch, “For the full launch in January, we are expanding our services by adding digital products for brand memberships, expanding content, event tickets, and games. We also plan to offer major international mobile payment options beyond Naver Pay and LINE Pay.”

The company’s ultimate goal is to make Web 3 accessible to everyone, as Kim stated, “We want to popularize Web 3 for all users who own or aspire to own valuable digital products, including app users, gamers, consumers, and entertainment enthusiasts.”

When asked about the recent downturn in the NFT market and the possibility of its resurgence after the boom in 2021 and 2022, Kim believes that NFTs will become the new standard for valuable digital goods. He also stated, “In the initial stages of the NFT market, there were a lot of speculative products, and we aim to revive and expand this market once again.”

During its beta phase, LineNext has garnered a user base of 5.5 million and recorded over 470,000 transactions globally. The company generates revenue by charging platform fees from its users and plans to introduce additional revenue models through the issuance, distribution, and trading of digital products.

One of the key advantages that sets LineNext apart from its competitors is its global infrastructure and expertise built through its various services worldwide, stated Kim. The company will be providing its services on its public blockchain mainnet, Finschia, which boasts a 400x faster transaction speed and 98% lower network usage fees compared to Ethereum.

While LineNext Korea oversees the Web 3 business strategy, LineNext U.S. is responsible for managing the NFT platform business. Last year, LineNext raised $10 million in strategic investments from ten companies, including SoftBank Corporation, Naver, Naver Webtoon, Line Games, CJ ENM, YG Plus, Hashed, Shinsegae, and K Auction. LineNext is wholly owned by LY Corporation, a merger of SoftBank Group’s Z Holdings and four subsidiaries, including Line Corporation and Yahoo! Japan.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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