According to Nikkei, Line, a popular messaging and call service, intends to go public in 2014 on the Tokyo stock exchange. The company is expected to go public at a valuation between $8 billion and $10 billion USD.
According to Serkan Toto, Line has 270 million registered users. It isn’t clear what percentage of that user base is active on a monthly basis. Twitter, a company that is also set to go public shortly, has around 230 million monthly active users. The comparison matters are both mobile-focused communications applications.
And Twitter could go public at an IPO valuation of as high as $20 billion, if scuttlebutt is to be believed. We can’t be too perfectly sure, but it would seem that Twitter is being valued much higher on a per-user basis.
Line as a company has been at the forefront of the rising profile of so-called ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) messaging services that have quickly grown in recent years. Others include Viber and KakaoTalk. Essentially, they replace the native SMS and call capabilities that come in smartphones.
It has become a massive market. Line’s 270 million users are only a fraction of the larger OTT communications market. When Line goes public, it could clear the way for other OTT applications to follow suit.
[Editor's note: a previous version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of the valuation.]
Top Image Credit: Joi Ito