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Messaging App LINE Secures $140 Million for Expansion of NFT Platform

Brian Yue
Last updated: | 1 min read
In a statement released on Wednesday, LINE NEXT, LINE’s South Korea-based NFT unit, claimed the investment was “the largest in the Asian blockchain and Web3 industry this year.” The funding round was led by Crescendo Equity Partners, a Peter Thiel-backed private equity firm.
Source: Pixabay

The NFT arm of messaging app LINE has raised $140 million in investment to “popularize the Web3 ecosystem.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, LINE NEXT, LINE’s South Korea-based NFT unit, claimed the investment was “the largest in the Asian blockchain and Web3 industry this year.” The funding round was led by Crescendo Equity Partners, a Peter Thiel-backed private equity firm.

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

With its freshly acquired capital, LINE intends to formally introduce its global NFT platform, DOSI, in January 2024. The company stated that DOSI will be presented as a mobile application to a global user base, seamlessly integrating with Japan’s NFT marketplace, LINE NFT.

LINE NEXT also aims to assist brands in providing ownership of their current digital products, enabling them to be traded. The social media giant plans to unveil web3 games featuring its own characters, known as BROWN & FRIENDS.

“It is significant that we were able to secure this funding in the context of a globally contracting investment environment,” said Youngsu Ko, CEO of LINE NEXT. “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.”

As part of the investment arrangement, Crescendo will become a governance member on Line Next’s Finschia blockchain, the platform on which DOSI is deployed.

LINE NEXT currently has 5.5 million users worldwide and more than 470,000 cumulative transactions, the company said in its press release. The NFT unit was first established in December 2021 and launched the beta service for DOSI in September 2022.

The unit has been very active in collaborating with other companies to launch Web3 initiatives. In July 2023, LINE NEXT revealed the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Japanese gaming and entertainment powerhouse Sega. The companies collaborated to develop a new Web3 game for Game DOSI, LINE’s NFT gaming franchise.