LINE NEXT Corporation., South Korea-based LINE’s venture dedicated to developing and expanding the non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem, announced Wednesday that it has secured a $140 million investment from a consortium led by the private equity firm Crescendo Equity Partners.

LINE NEXT said in a statement that this investment represents the largest funding round in the Asian blockchain Web3 industry for this year.

With the raised funds, LINE NEXT aims to expand its global business and develop new services as part of its plan to popularize the Web3 ecosystem.

First up, LINE NEXT plans to officially launch its global NFT platform DOSI in January 2024, offering a digital marketplace where a wide range of digital products can be traded.

Integrating with Japan’s NFT marketplace LINE NFT, DOSI will be offered as a mobile app to users around the world.

In addition, LINE NEXT will provide new solutions to help services and brands give ownership directly to existing digital products and trade them, making it easier to introduce Web3 to their services.

With this investment, LINE NEXT also plans to introduce new services to further accelerate Web3 popularization.

These include introducing a social app that allows users to communicate based on the characters they made utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) technology and launching new Web3 games utilizing BROWN & FRIENDS characters that anyone can enjoy.

LINE NEXT also plans to build these services based on the public blockchain Finschia, and LINE NEXT and Crescendo will participate in the Finschia Foundation as governance members, contributing to the expansion of its ecosystem.

“It is significant that we were able to secure this funding in the context of a globally contracting investment environment,

We plan to use this opportunity to further popularize Web3 and develop a new service ecosystem where users own the value of their digital goods,” said Youngsu Ko, Chief Executive Officer of LINE NEXT.

Based in South Korea, LINE NEXT Corporation is focused on Web3 business strategy and planning.

With a subsidiary in the U.S operating the global NFT platform business and an office in Japan, LINE NEXT aims to develop the Web3 ecosystem and popularize it for all.

The firm has been at the forefront of Web3 popularization through a range of global services based on DOSI.

It currently has 5.5 million users worldwide and more than 470,000 cumulative transactions, continuing its rapid growth just one year since beta service began.

“LINE’s global competitiveness and its vision to lead Web3 services were the investment thesis,” said Kevin Lee, the managing partner of Crescendo.

“We hope to build a standard for Web3 apps that general users can easily use and adopt blockchain to all sorts of services and brands of Web2,” he added.

Crescendo is a technology focused private equity firm sponsored by Peter Thiel, Co-Founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies.

Crescendo mainly invests in companies with high growth potential with exceptional technologies, and accesses to well-established “tech-ecosystem” consisting of both local and global networks.

It focuses on discovering small to mid-cap technology companies and developing them to become global champions.

Its target sectors include traditional business to business (B2B) hardware sectors such as semiconductors and parts and materials, as well as software sectors that are new growth engines such as information technology (IT) security and factory automation.

As of November 2023, its assets under management reached about 1.8 trillion won ($1.36 billion).

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