Japanese messaging app Line files for $10B IPO

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Japanese messaging app Line is in the process of filing for an initial public offering valued at over $10 billion or 9 trillion yen, according to Bloomberg News. The company reportedly submitted an application to the Tokyo Stock Exchange two weeks ago.

The super popular messaging app, akin to WhatsApp, has amassed over 480 million downloads. While the app is free, it offers a variety of in-app features for sale — like Hello Kitty stickers to cute-up your chats.

South Korea’s Naver Corp, which owns the app, has chosen investment bank Nomura Holdings to manage the IPO. At the moment the company is considering listing on either NASDAQ or the NYSE in New York, in addition to the TSE.

Like other international messaging apps, Line has yet to gain ground in North America. A listing on U.S. stock exchanges may help boost the company’s profile in the States.

Messaging apps are a hot commodity these days. In February, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for over $16 billion. Shortly thereafter Japanese company Rakuten acquired mobile calling and messaging app Viber for $900 million.

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