Ground X, the blockchain subsidiary of South Korean messaging giant Kakao, has raised $90 million in a private coin offering.
As reported by Bloomberg on Monday, Ground X CEO Jason Han said that IDG Capital, Cresendo Equity Partners and Translink Capital had participated in the round. The firm is also reportedly planning to raise “a similar sum” in another round starting Tuesday, before launching its blockchain platform in June.
Kakao first revealed its plan to set up a blockchain subsidiary back in March 2018, soon after confirming that it had launched Ground X to develop a blockchain-powered platform as a foundation for application developers. Kakao’s top execs said at the time that the plan was to integrate future blockchain-based services with Kakao’s existing internet offerings, such as the Kakao Talk messaging app.
Ground X launched a test network (or testnet) for its proprietary blockchain network, dubbed Klaytn, last autumn. It has already partnered with 26 companies that aim to run apps on Klaytn, Han told Bloomberg. These include South Korean video game developer Wemade and video streaming platform Watcha, as well as a unit of Chinese travel agency Zanadu.
The subsidiary has also said it will work with the Seoul Digital Foundation, an organization created by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, to develop blockchain projects focusing on social and public services.
Ground X could be summed up as “partial or gradual decentralization,” Han told CoinDesk Korea last year, adding that some of Kakao’s services could be decentralized.
“The token economy is a business model that no one could have imagined before. Until now, Kakao has only operated in Korea, but through blockchain we could expand into the global market. That means taking a portion of the profits we earn as an intermediary and using it to expand our market by sharing it with users.”
Jason Han image via CoinDesk archives