A subsidiary of South Korean internet and technology giant Kakao has acquired a majority share in a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, paving the way for the company to integrate its web-based cartoon content with its crypto services.
Kakao Piccoma, a subsidiary of Kakao in Japan, has bought more than 50% of the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Sakura Exchange Bitcoin (SEBC).
Kakao and SEBC made no mention of the actual extent of the shareholding or the deal’s worth.
SEBC was founded in May 2017 and now supports 11 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and XRP.
First M&A For Kakao
The acquisition of the Japanese crypto exchange is Kakao’s first merger and acquisition move since founder Kim Beom-su resigned as chairman last month and pledged to focus on growing its global business under the company’s “Beyond Korea” plan.
According to Yonhap and an official announcement on the Sakura Exchange BitCoin website, Piccoma has become the trading platform’s largest shareholder.
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Piccoma, Japan’s largest web-based cartoon (webtoon) service provider, is operated by the Kakao subsidiary.
SEBC disclosed the receipt of a “capital increase by way of third-party allotment” of shares. Hitomi Yamamoto, the company’s chief executive officer, will continue in charge, but a number of new directors have been recruited.
BTC total market cap at $891.60 billion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
Expanding Business In Blockchain And Crypto
The acquisition’s objective is to establish and expand business in Web3 through the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.
Piccoma, for its part, is likely to integrate bitcoin and blockchain technology into its webtoon platform.
“The recent arrangement is Piccoma’s first foray into sectors other than webtoons,” an industry official explained.
Kim announced in mid-March that Beyond Korea would begin in Japan, where Piccoma has evolved to become the country’s largest digital comics platform, offering a diverse selection of Japanese manga and webtoons.
Recent developments include the launch of Kakao’s webtoon subscription service in Europe.
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Japanese Comics A Big Hit In France
Japanese comics account for over 30% of total comic book sales in France, where the South Korean tech giant opened Piccoma’s Europe office in September 2021 and has been operating there since.
Kakao entered the blockchain space in 2018 with the creation of its blockchain subsidiary Ground X. The next year, it launched Klaytn, a platform for bitcoin and blockchain development.
Kakao founded Krust in Singapore in October last year, acquiring the Klaytn project from Ground X in order to extend its blockchain business globally.
According to Bloomberg last year, Kakao was exploring a Japanese stock market offering because of the success of its manga app, which competes with Line, Japan’s most popular messaging app.
Featured image from Euronews, chart from TradingView.com