Japan-based messaging app Line went public today, with a dual listing in both Tokyo and New York markets.
Line is unique in that it will be the only publicly-traded messaging-focused app.
Its diverse revenue streams — which include gaming, stickers, and branded content — also make comparisons difficult, especially against more purely ad-driven social giants like Twitter and Facebook.
Line’s games and music content drive roughly 35% of revenue. Downloadable content such as stickers and themes bring in 22%.
It is also different in that it was not a private company previous to exit as WhatsApp and Facebook and Twitter were, since it was spun out from Korea’s Naver Corp.
The company’s IPO valued it at $6.9B. But how does it rank alongside other social messaging IPOs and M&A from the private markets? Using CB Insights data, we took a historical look at the largest social and messaging exits to see how Line stacks up.
- In first place for largest exit was Facebook, which went public at a $104B valuation.
- In second place is WhatsApp‘s record-breaking acquisition by Facebook, which settled at $22B when the deal was completed in 2014. Currently, Whatsapp remains the largest acquisition of a private company of all time (when looking at first exits of private companies).
- Finally, in third was Twitter‘s IPO at a $14.2B valuation.
- Line pulls in in fourth-place at less than half Twitter’s IPO valuation.
(Note: Only first exits of B2C private companies were included, except for Vkontakte which saw a corporate majority investment from its eventual acquirer. Dollars are in nominal terms so there is some bias toward more recent deals.)
Also notable is that 6 out of the top 12 chat and social-app exits are from companies based outside of the United States. Line is based in Japan, Vkontakte is Russian, Kakao is from South Korea, Renren is from China, and Skype and Viber were registered in Luxembourg and Cyprus, respectively.
See the full table below (click on the companies for profiles on each):
|Rank||Company||Round||Date||Buyer||Exit Valuation ($M)|
|7||Kakao Corporation||Reverse Merger||10/1/2014||Daum Kakao||$3,030|
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