Published: Sun, July 17, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Line jumps in USA debut of 2016's biggest technology IPO

But Line remains challenged to boost its popularity beyond East and Southeast Asia, and some Spanish language markets, in a field crowded with innovative mobile messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp, Skype and Snapchat.

More than 2 billion such stickers are sent each day, with sales reaching 25.3 billion yen ($230 million) a year ago, according to Line. Now, it dominates the Japanese market, and wants to expand in Thailand, Indonesia and the region of Taiwan. "There's a number of these large unicorns that are consumer internet based companies that are going to look to this as a barometer for the market appetite for this kind of business".

Line is also due to start trading in Tokyo on Friday after raising more than $1.1bn in its initial public offering.

In Tokyo, shares temporarily rose to 5,000 yen, but subsequently stayed below the initial quotation due to profit-taking purchases. So while Line's first day of trading was a success, it isn't particularly apparent that its shares are a buy after their IPO pop.

Line Corp. CFO Hwang In-joon (left), CSO Jun Masuda (right) and CGO Shin Jung-ho (center right) ring the opening bell as executives and guests of the company visit the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate their IPO in New York on Thursday.

Stickers-larger, more complex emoji that users can send in the app-are one of the key components of Line's revenue, with users sending an average of 389 million stickers a day in March.

There will be a party in Times Square to celebrate the NYSE listing, according to a Line blog post. The company explained that 61% of its monthly active users (MAUs) use the app on a daily basis, but the figure is 73% if users from the four biggest countries are taken into account as well.

Line priced its dual listing in NY and Tokyo at the top end of its range earlier this week due to strong demand. "This position is similar to that of Tencent (China), Kakao (Korea), and Facebook (Western markets)".

The world's biggest tech company forgot to show you something, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn't miss a beat: There's a small company that's powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. For WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, this falls to $3. WhatsApp, which Facebook bought for almost $22 billion in 2014, announced in early February it had topped 1 billion MAUs, up from 700 million in January 2015.

Line generates the overwhelming majority of its revenue - over $1 billion in 2015 - from the sale of paid consumer content, like digital stickers and games.

Priced at the high end of its original estimates amid heavy demand, Japan-based Line raised about $1.3 billion in the share flotation.

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