Kakao Group just raised US$90 million in a private coin offering to bolster Ground X, its blockchain development arm—and the company is already eyeing its next funding round.
According to Jason Han, CEO of Kakao’s Group X, the initial funding round managed to hit its target despite the plunge in Bitcoin prices. In light of this, Ground X is reportedly looking to raise a similar sum in yet another ICO; which just launched yesterday (March 12).
All of this fundraising is done as South Korean Kakao gears up for the launch of its blockchain platform Klaytn, slated for a launch later this year.
Unveiled last October, Klaytn was built with user experience in mind. By eliminating traditional requirements like wallets, private keys, and cryptograph addresses, the end goal is to lower the average person’s barriers to blockchain technology, and create a more mobile-friendly blockchain experience.
Ground X’s initial plan for Klaytn is to fill it with a wide spectrum of services ranging from games to travel apps from third parties, reported Bloomberg.
One of these efforts includes 28 existing partnerships, notably with Wemade Entertainment, a Korean game developer and video-streaming service operator as well as Zanadu, an online travel agency community for Chinese travellers.
A Major Comeback for ICOs?
If 2018’s blockchain scene had a theme, it would be the steady decline of ICO’s reputation. 2017’s ballooning Bitcoin prices led to a surge of interest into ICOs, but isues with the reputability of certain ICO issuers, and the slow development of the product has led to increasing mistrust.
ICOs saw waxed and waned response last November; recording the lowest inflows into ICOs in 2018, according to a digital assets report by Diar. November 2018 recorded US$65 million funds raised, a sharp contrast to just earlier that year in February with US$2.6 billion raised in what many considered as the pinnacle of ICO bubble.
The year also saw investors’ washing their hands of from more ICO projects many turned out to be blatant scams. For example, an exit scam from China had cost investors US$60 million. Thought theft only accounts for a small percentage of the total amount raised through ICOs, a report says, investors are understandably shaken.
ICOs were always predicted to make a comeback however, though this time with investors that were more keen on due-diligence and more reputable issuers.
If Kakao can hit its ICO goals during this time of Bitcoin downturn, they could be the tipping point to start this process in its tracks.