NEW YORK (TheStreet) - You can now add Japan's most popular messaging app LINE to the growing list of apps looking to attract potential investors.
Japanese messaging operator LINE Corp, a subsidiary of Korea's Naver Corporation, might soon appear on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company applied for an initial public offering with a valuation over 1 trillion yen (about $10 billion) earlier this month.
With more than 400 million users, LINE may have been inspired by social media's recent costly acquisitions. Facebook's (FB) $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp and Japan's Rakuten signing a $900 million dollar deal to acquire Viber come to mind. Rather than risk being bought out, the company will turn its hand at attracting investors while simultaneously evolving into an international brand.
Founded in 2011, LINE was initially developed as a way to keep in contact with people using Internet-based resources. But since then, LINE has evolved into a communications platform complete with apps, stickers-lively emotive images to help those when words aren't enough, games and most recently, Webtoons.
Nomura Holdings and Morgan Stanley (MS) have been tapped by LINE to manage the IPO and are also in the midst of considering a dual listing either on the NYSE or NASDAQ. And although still in the beginning stages, the IPO could go public as early as November, according to media reports.
But according to LINE Corp. "determinations regarding whether to ultimately list, listing venue and listing timing, etc., have not been made," Hazuki Yamada, Global Public Relations manager at LINE Corp wrote in an email to TheStreet