Korea-based startup Yello Mobile has raised $100 million from Formation 8 at a $1 billion valuation. You probably haven’t heard about Yello Mobile if you live outside of Asia, but the startup has set its sights on becoming one of the region’s largest mobile media companies through a series of acquisitions. Its latest funding puts the total Yello Mobile has raised since it was founded in August 2012 at $176 million.
Its current valuation means Yello Mobile in now in the same league as other Korean tech unicorns, including Line (though mainly based in Japan, the messaging app is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Korean Internet giant Naver), Daumkakao, Nexon, Com2Us, and Coupang.
The company operates in several different verticals: mobile shopping and advertising, mobile travel, O2O (online to offline) business, as well as mobile content and media.
The capital will be used to acquire more mobile app startups, as well as on marketing. Yello Mobile CEO Sanghyuk Lee told TechCrunch “we will continuously acquire companies related to mobile shopping and mobile advertising, mobile travel, online to offline business, and mobile content as we have been doing since our establishment.”
Yello’s portfolio currently has about 50 startups, including included Indonesian price comparison site PriceArea and AlarmMon, a clock app based in Seoul. Though most of its acquisitions are Korean, Yello Mobile, looks for potential buys throughout Asia, except for China, which the company has yet to enter.
After acquiring a startup, Yello Mobile requires that founders and share holders remain as employees for three to five years, unless they sell their stock back to Yello. Lee told Korean tech blog BeSuccess last month that it plans to hold an initial public offering next year.