South Korean Kakao Corp’s Ground X Plans to Extend ICO After Raising $90 Million
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The crypto unit of South Korea’s largest internet conglomerate Kakao Corp will repeat its initial coin offering (ICO) after netting $90 million from investors, Bloomberg reported on Mar. 11.
Klaytn, the blockchain platform which is the responsibility of spin-off firm Ground X, will now seek to raise another $90 million as soon as this week. In December 2018, Kakao had first announced that it was planning to raise around $300 million through Ground X to develop its own token.
According to Jason Han, CEO of Ground X, IDG Capital, Cresendo Equity Partners and Translink Capital were some of the venture capital and private equity funds to participate in the ICO round.
Game developer Wemade Entertainment Co. and Chinese travel agency Zanadu are among the 26 companies that will run their applications on the Klatyn platform. Han also noted that Kakao is considering adding one of its own services to the platform, although this has not been confirmed. He told Bloomberg:
“There’s going to be a wide spectrum of services [...] we’re continuing to have conversations with Kakao.”
The company, which currently has 65 employees, also plans to hire more as the launch gets closer. Han noted that the delay in the launch, which was originally scheduled for 2018, has been due to more development needed on the platform.
As Cointelegraph reported, the internet giant managed to circumvent increasingly strict regulatory policies in both South Korea and elsewhere by ensuring its ICO tokens were only available to registered, vetted private investors.
At the time, local media said the company had almost hit its intended initial investment target of $300 million from a range of participants, including a Chinese venture capital firm.
The continued success comes as South Korean lawmakers continually monitor the country’s zero-tolerance policy to ICOs, which became illegal in 2017. Ground X is headquartered in Japan.
Last month, Kakao revealed in its latest earnings statement that expenditure on new technologies, including blockchain, topped $57 million in Q4.