(Jun. 22, 2016)
South Korea’s private equity fund (PEF) operator IMM Private Equity (PE) has invested 50 billion won ($43 million) in Lezhin Entertainment, mobile-based webcomic provider that runs pay service platform Lezhin Comics, according to the investment banking industry on Wednesday.
Investment via the vehicle of Rose Gold Ⅲ fund capitalized at 1.26 trillion won last year makes IMM the second largest stakeholder in the webcomic provider after the webzine founder and managers.
Local webcomics market was estimated at 300 billion won last year. Lezhin Entertainment plans to use the new fund to expand globally and secure more talents and contents. It also will upgrade services in Japan and English countries.
IMM PE plans to retrieve the investment through initial public offering (IPO) of the webcomic provider within the next three years. Lezhin Entertainment was established in 2012 and launched Lezhin Comics, the country’s first pay webtoon service platform. It made inroads into the Japanese and North American markets on the same year and it secured about 7 million users this year. It is expected to record more than 50 billion won in sales this year.
By Kang Doo-soon, Maeil Business News