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Homegrown app market operator draws funding from Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom

All News 09:08 June 01, 2021

By Chae Yun-hwan

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- ONE store, a South Korean app market operator, said Tuesday it received a combined 17 billion won (US$15 million) in funding from Microsoft Corp. and the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom as it prepares to go public later this year.

Microsoft will invest 11.3 billion won in the app market company, a subsidiary under major mobile carrier SK Telecom Co., while Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners will chip in 5.5 billion won, according to ONE store.

The move comes after local telecom operators -- KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. -- invested a combined 26 billion won in ONE store in March.

The logo of ONE store is shown in this image provided by the company on June 1, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

ONE store first launched in 2016 as a local alternative to Google's Play store on the Android operating system.

While the homegrown app market has struggled against its larger rivals, its share of the local app market reached 18.3 percent as of August last year, compared with Google's Play at 71.2 percent and Apple Inc.'s App Store at 10.5 percent, according to data from IGAWorks.

After racking up a profit for the first time last year, ONE store is seeking an initial public offering this year.

ONE store has recently drawn attention as a more affordable app market as Google's Play store is set to implement a 30 percent commission fee for all in-app digital good purchases in October. The South Korean app market offers a lower commission rate at 20 percent.

The latest investment is also expected to strengthen Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom's ties with SK Telecom.

SK Telecom said in a statement that through the investment it will cooperate with Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom in gaming and cloud technology.


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