Home-grown app store attracts $15 mln equity investment from foreign partners

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : June 1, 2021, 11:30 | Updated : June 1, 2021, 11:30

[Courtesy of SK Telecom]

SEOUL -- One Store, an integrated app store in South Korea, has attracted $15 million in investment from Microsoft and an investment arm of Deutsche Telekom. The home-grown platform saw the new investment as an opportunity to expand its presence at home and abroad in tie-ups with major telecom operators and handset makers that run their own app markets.

Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP) will acquire new preferred shares to be issued by One Store with a paid-in capital increase. "One Store has now become Korea’s representative app market owned by telecommunication companies and IT firms from both home and abroad," said One Store CEO Lee Jae-hwan.

The integrated app store has been created through collaboration between South Korea's biggest web service operator Naver and three mobile carriers -- SK Telecom (SKT), KT and LG Uplus. SKT said the investment recognizes One Store's growth potential as a viable competitor in the app market led by Google's Play Store for Android devices and Apple's App Store for iPhones.

"The equity investments from Microsoft and DTCP will help strengthen the competitiveness of One Store and create a momentum for ICT ecosystem innovation,” said Ha Hyung-il, an SKT vice president, said in a statement on June 1. “We will work closely with Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom to generate tangible results."

The investment comes as an extension of strategic business partnerships SKT formed with Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom in 5G, cloud and artificial intelligence, the mobile carrier said, adding it would work with Microsoft to expand their partnership in 5G-based cloud gaming, create new opportunities for Korean game content and creators, and innovate gamers’ experiences through an enriched ecosystem.

One Store will be able to strengthen its competitiveness in the content business including web novels and webtoons, SKT said, promising to create new opportunities for One Store in the global mobile game market by leveraging Deutsche Telekom’s presence in Europe.

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