|A corporate image of ONE store (ONE store)|
ONE store, South Korea’s homegrown app market backed by all three mobile carriers, announced Tuesday that it has secured 17 billion won ($15 million) of funding from Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom’s venture capital unit.
Of the total, 11.3 billion won will come from Microsoft, while Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners Management GmbH will invest 5.5 billion won to acquire shares in ONE store, which is affiliated with SK Telecom.
ONE store will issue 414,900 convertible preferred stocks for Microsoft and DTCP. With the equity transaction, the two investors would acquire a combined 3 percent stake in the firm, it said.
The latest deal is an extension of a pre-existing partnership among the three companies, SK Telecom, Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom. The three companies have allied in a wide range of sectors, including cloud, artificial intelligence and 5G network-based solutions.
An official from SK Telecom said Deutsche Telekom will support ONE store to enter the European market. Lee Jae-hwan, chief executive of ONE store, also said the recent investment will help the company to target global users.
The investment also comes ahead of the firm’s initial public offering, planned for this year.
Local telecommunications firms KT and LG U+ have invested a combined 26 billion won in ONE store in March.
ONE store was launched by South Korea’s three major telecommunications firms and internet giant Naver in 2016 as a local alternative to Google’s Play store on the Android operating system.
According to data from IGAWorks, ONE store’s share in the local app market reached a record high of 18.3 percent as of August last year as Google‘s Play store prepared to implement a 30 percent commission fee for all in-app digital purchases.
In August last year, Google Play and Apple’s App Store shares reached 71.2 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, in the local market.
By Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)