South Korean telecommunications companies KT Corporation and LG Uplus announced they would support the homegrown app market ONE Store’s growth. Established in 2016, ONE Store is an SK Telecom subsidiary that operates an integrated mobile app market platform. With the investment, the three mobile operators plan to expand and strengthen their collaborations, business relations, and synergistic management systems.
According to SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus have invested a combined KRW 26 billion ($23 million) in the mobile platform. With a KRW 21 billion ($18.6 million) investment, KT acquired a 3.1 percent share on the SKT subsidiary, while LG Uplus acquired a 0.7 percent share for KRW 5 billion ($4.4 million). Currently, SK Telecom holds a 50 percent share in ONE Store, while Naver has a 26.3 percent share. Other financial investors hold an 18.6 percent ONE Store share.
ONE Store’s Growth
“As KT and LG Uplus become ONE Store’s shareholders, we are confident that we will be able to shape ONE Store into a more competitive app market that offers greater benefits to users and promotes win-win growth with content providers,” said Lee Jae-Hwan, ONE Store’s CEO. Since KT and LG Uplus have previously worked with ONE Store, Lee expects higher cooperation levels and stronger business partnerships.
Aside from promoting the three companies’ business operations, the investment also improves Korea’s information and communication technology ecosystem. Additionally, the three companies would cooperatively fortify ONE Store’s foothold in the app market and diversify its content for users. ONE Store is also dedicated to creating policies that advance both the company and local app providers’ development.
In 2020, ONE Store stated its net income increased significantly and steadily for the first time since its establishment. Based on IGAWorks’ mobile index data, ONE Store’s transaction amount increased to 34.4 percent, higher than other app markets’ growth. Last year, SK Telecom reported that ONE Store would be its first subsidiary to undertake an initial public offering. This year, with investment aid from KT and LG Uplus, the market platform is preparing to go public.
Moreover, Korea Mobile Internet Business Association said that ONE Store was South Korea’s third-largest app market platform last year in terms of sales. Although Apple and Google dominate Korea’s app market, ONE Store continuously attracts local developers due to its low commission rates. Recently, Google updated its billing system, taking a 30 percent commission fee on all in-app transactions in its Play Store. Compared to other app markets, ONE Store offers relatively lower transaction rates at 20 percent, drawing Korean app creators’ support.
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