Messaging company, Line has had a very active investment streak. The company has funded the likes of games studio 4:33 and at least nine US startups. The company today added a new participant into its investment bubble in the form of Snow, a Snapchat clone that is basically meant for Asia.
After the company went public last year, Line has been focusing upon diversifying its services and business. With that in mind, the company has invested $45 million in Snow. Looking into the whole development closely, you may observe that both Line and Snow’s share a common parent company in Naver, making them cousins of sorts. So, the investment makes more sense than meets the eye.
Moving on to Snow, the company is hot in Japan, Korea, China and Southeast Asia with The New York Times speculating that it had crossed 30 million users in June. The app contains features similar to Snapchat but with what some call “a better interface”. It also brings in over 30 different filters and 700 stickers, clearly scoring one over Snapchat there.
Although Line is one of the most popular apps in Asian countries, its growth was just about six percent last year. The app counts 218 million monthly active users, two-thirds of which are from Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia. The six percent raise brings the app’s user count up by 13 million.
Line users will know that the app company doesn’t just provide a plain messaging service, it also brings in a handful of connected games and apps that tap into the Line messenger friend graph, as well as photo apps B612, Egg and Line Camera. In addition to this service diversification, the company has also achieved great revenue diversification.
The latest investment will provide Line with an important strategic partner. While there are many interesting ways in which this partnership can be deployed, we will have to wait and see what the messaging application choses to do next.