Kakao’s Ground X Raised $90M in Private ICO, Set to Get Another $90M Starting Today
Originally published on: CoinSpeaker
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March 12, 2019
Ground X, the crypto subsidiary of Korea’s largest mobile platform Kakao, has raised $90 million in a private token sale. The company is planning to double the figure in another round that starts on March 12.
Ground X to Foster Blockchain Adoption
The idea to create Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary appeared last March. The giant was also planning to launch its own digital asset known as Kakao Coin. As a result, Ground X was set up by Kakao as a way to integrate future blockchain-based services with Kakao’s existing internet offerings. It seeks to address issues that hinder mainstream adoption of blockchain and overturn challenges into opportunities through blockchain disruption.
By developing a scalable blockchain platform with tangible and practical blockchain services, Ground X aspires to achieve mass adoption of blockchain-empowered services as to substantiate the value and utility of blockchain technology. The company has offices in Japan and South Korea. This year, Ground X seeks to expand its user base to 10 million accounts.
To achieve its goals, Ground X is developing Klaytn, a global public blockchain providing user-friendly UX/UI and enterprise-friendly Developer Experience (DX) environment for developers to create blockchain services. Klaytn is based in Tokyo, Japan. As Coindesk reported, 26 companies ready to run apps on Klaytn have already partnered with Ground X. Among them are South Korean video game developer Wemade, video streaming platform Watcha, and Chinese travel agency Zanadu.
The Second Funding Round Amid Klaytn Launch
Klaytn’s initial capital round was conducted from October to December last year and aimed to raise about $300 million. Taking into consideration the instability of crypto prices. and bearish tendencies on the market last year, $90 million that Ground X has raised is an impressive figure. According to Ground X CEO Jason Han, the investors included Venture capital and such private equity funds as IDG Capital, Cresendo Equity Partners, and Translink Capital.
Han said that Ground X will diversify its services and expand geographically:
“There’s going to be a wide spectrum of services. We’re continuing to have conversations with Kakao.”
“The token economy is a business model that no one could have imagined before. Until now, Kakao has only operated in Korea, but through blockchain we could expand into the global market. That means taking a portion of the profits we earn as an intermediary and using it to expand our market by sharing it with users.”
The second ICO round is set to commence today, on March 12. The developers are planning to raise the same $90 million if not to increase this amount. Ground X is likely to succeed, as more attention to its activity will be drawn amid the launch of Klaytn platform in June, after delays that moved it from the original launch target of 2018.
It is notable that Ground X managed to run ICO despite the ban of public token sales in South Korea. Kakao attempted to conduct its ICO in Switzerland but the Financial Services Commission (FSC) derailed its plans. Then the company decided to accept only approved and reliable private investors and managed to save its goodwill in both the home country and abroad.
*To learn more about upcoming ICOs, you may check our ICO calendar.