KineMaster, which operates a video editing app with the same name, is looking for a buyer, prompting speculation of another notable deal in the South Korean mobile application sector after Match Group’s $1.725 billion takeover of Hyperconnect.
More than 30 potential buyers, both domestic and international, have shown interest in the company, according to industry sources. Nomura Financial Investment, which is managing the sale process, plans to send out information packages on the company in the coming weeks, with indicative bids expected to be submitted in March.
“Interest in the company from prospective buyers is much stronger than expected, although it is in the early stages of the sale process,” said an industry insider. “They are especially expressing interest in KineMaster’s technology and its expansion potential. One of the global social media companies is also said to be considering buying the company.”
Match Group’s acquisition of Hyperconnect may boost potential buyers’ interest in KineMaster, observers said. The U.S. online dating company bought 100% of the South Korean startup, which operates real-time video chat app Azar and social live-streaming platform Hakuna Live, in a $1.725 billion deal earlier this month.
Rapid growth in revenue and active users contributed to Hyperconnect’s high valuation. Its revenue increased 61.7% year-on-year to 169 billion won ($152.4 million) in 2019. Azar had tallied more than 500 million downloads globally as of June 2020, while Hakuna Live passed the 10 million downloads mark in March 2020.
“Like Hyperconnect, KineMaster has seen a rapid increase in revenue and downloads in recent years, which could make the company attractive for potential buyers,” said another industry insider.
Revenue rose 53.5% year-on-year to 29.8 billion won in 2020, with operating income and net income up 13-fold and 40-fold respectively. Revenue from its video editing app, KineMaster, grew 81.7% year-on-year, accounting for 86% of the total revenue.
The app has more than 340 million global downloads. Its monthly and daily active users currently stand at 70 million and 7.2 million respectively, with users mainly in the U.S., Southeast Asia, Brazil and Iraq. (Reporting by Byung-yoon Kim)