US investment firm KKR zooms in on Bithumb, Yanolja
[THE INVESTOR] US private equity giant Kolberg Kravis Robert is interested in investing in BTCKorea -- operator of the country’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb -- and leading accommodation platform Yanolja, according to industry sources on April 13.
KKR’s executives are scheduled to meet their counterparts at Bithumb and Yanolja on April 13 via Korea Development Bank’s investment platform KDB Next Round. The event usually invites startups in series A and B funding rounds, but this time it is liaising between potential Korean unicorns -- startups whose value exceeds US$1 billion -- and global investors.
The sources added that KKR initiated the meetings.
Yanolja headquarters in Seoul
KKR operates TMT Growth Equity, a US$711 million fund dedicated to growth equity investment opportunities in technology, media and telecommunications. The company’s executives including CEO Dave Welsh and Managing Partner Vincent Letteri are set to meet up with Bithumb and Yanolja officials in a closed IR session.
Bithumb is Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange following Upbit and is the world’s fifth-biggest in terms of transaction volumes. It grew rapidly along with the crypto frenzy last year with its revenue skyrocketing 171 times during 2017.
Founded in 2005, Yanolja posted sales of 100 billion won in 2017 and operating loss of 11 billion won due to heavy investment in new technologies. It is planning an IPO as early as 2020.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)