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Ground X, the blockchain arm of South Korean messaging giant Kakao has recently raised $90 million through a private coin offering and is all set to net the same amount of capital through initial coin offering starting from March 12th. These consecutive coin offerings are the part of Kakao’s plan to launch its fully-fledged blockchain platform by June 2019. Various private equity funds and venture capitals have participated in the private coin offering despite the free fall of the crypto market and the Bitcoin price.
Kakao, South Korea’s dominant internet conglomerate that offers leading communication and advertisement services, is planning to bring some of its services to a blockchain platform. However, nothing is decided yet, clarified Jason Han, the chief executive officer of Kakao’s blockchain unit Ground X Corp. IDG Capital, Cresendo Equity Partners, and Translink Capital were among the major investment firms as reported by Bloomberg.
Ground X first came to existence in March 2018 when Kakao revealed its plan to integrate blockchain-powered services with their existing internet offerings. Based in Tokyo, Ground X will act as an initial platform for app developers to offer the blockchain-based services including Kakao’s messaging app. Ground X is planning to utilize its subsidiary company called Klaytn to offer a range of services by deploying various applications from third parties. With this upcoming ICO ground, X is planning to raise a similar sum for the development of Klaytn.
Ground x is already collaborating with twenty-six companies that include South Korean video streaming platform Watcha and video game developer Wemade and as well as the Chinese travel agency Zanadu. According to Jason Han, some of these companies have millions of daily active users.
“There’s going to be a wide spectrum of services,” Han said. “We’re continuing to have conversations with Kakao” about introducing its apps, he said. Han also said that Ground X will primarily focus on bridging the gap between the existing mobile services and blockchain use cases. Gaming apps will attract the users the most, said Han.
Ground X is currently focused on increasing the number of users to at least 10 million by the end of the year and to continue developing the platform at full speed. The firm, which presently has 65 employees, will also start hiring new developers more aggressively in the near future.