Messaging apps are here to stay. Apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp and LINE provide an easy to communicate internationally between family members, business associates and friends.
From The Future of Messaging on ReadWrite:
“The skyrocketing popularity of messaging apps around the world signals a shift in the way we communicate. Now we can share more than a simple thought rendered in text. We can share cartoon characters, disappearing selfies, our current location—even our phone’s battery life.”
As companies in the space reach multi-billion dollar market caps, it’s critical to look at what messaging apps are emerging in Asia and which ones will become notable picks in an increasingly bullish tech market.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the popular messaging app, LINE a company owned by Naver (a South Korean internet conglomerate), has refiled its paperwork to release an initial price offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. However, its plans on actually listing in the exchange are not immediate according to a spokeswoman for Naver.
Unlike some of its competitors in the messaging app space, LINE struggles to reach countries other than Japan, Taiwan or Thailand and perhaps it’s this lack of market penetration that has caused their delay in listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Will investors look for growth in the communications company pre-IPO? Should a company without a proven track record increase its burn rate exponentially with new cash from an IPO? Perhaps Scott Nolan from Techcrunch is right when he states that companies need not worry about burn rates when they have a clear plan or strategy.
As an investor, I’d like to see which countries they plan on going into next and what their user-acquisition costs are going to be. LINE claims to be working on mobile payments, streaming video, music and other bells and whistles, but are these just gimmicks to keep up with the competition?
Capturing the markets in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand is impressive. Let’s see what else they can do. We at InvestAsian can’t be certain of the future of LINE, but we can say that you should keep an eye out for messaging apps as they are truly the future of international communication.