Korean mobile internet company Yello Mobile takes in $47.2 mln

Seoul, South Korea-based Yello Mobile, a mobile internet company, has secured $47.2 million in funding. Formation 8 led the round.


SEOUL, South Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Yello Mobile, Korea’s fastest growing mobile Internet company, announced that it has raised $47.2 million in financing. Existing investor Formation 8 led the investment with participation from other new and existing investors. Proceeds will be used to strengthen Yello Mobile’s position across South Korea and other Asian markets in its key verticals: Shopping, Media, Advertisement, Travel and Online-to-Offline (SMATO).

Founded in 2012, Yello Mobile has emerged as a mobile leader in Korea and Southeast Asia, operating an ecosystem of mobile platforms, applications and services spanning e-commerce, digital entertainment, online marketing, data analytics and O2O. The company has a combined user base of more than 18 million monthly active users in South Korea, representing approximately one-third of the country’s population.

Yello Mobile’s most popular user platforms include Coocha, South Korea’s leading shopping search app, and Pikicast, a leading digital media content platform. Coocha has 8 million monthly active users, representing a 216% increase year-over-year. Pikicast has also become one of the leading mobile media apps among Korean users, with an average daily duration time second only to Facebook among media apps.1 As a result of strong user growth and engagement, the company has been able to increase its monetization efforts resulting in positive EBITDA for Coocha as of the quarter ended September 30, 2015. The company also expects Pikicast to achieve profitability through its digital marketing services in early 2016.

Yello Mobile’s O2O segment also continues to experience strong growth and financial performance, providing on-demand apps, operations software and payment infrastructure to offline businesses and merchants. The O2O business achieved sequential top-line growth of more 30% for each quarter in 2015.

Lee Sang-hyuk, founder and CEO of Yello Mobile, said, “We are proud of the progress we have made establishing Yello Mobile as the clear mobile leader across the SMATO verticals. Our two leading apps, Coocha and Pikicast, continue to see strong user growth and increasing monetization, and we look forward to using this new capital to drive continued growth in those businesses. We appreciate the continued support of our investors, who are able to share in our long-term growth.”

“Yello Mobile’s unique strategy and diverse portfolio of mobile platforms and services are creating a dynamic mobile ecosystem across Asia,” said Brian Koo, partner at Formation 8. “We are particularly excited about the company’s expansion across the rest of Asian market, where we see highly compelling opportunities for Yello’s platform model given the rapidly-growing mobile environment and increasing appetite for the SMATO verticals. We look forward to working with Sang-hyuk and his team as they transition into this next stage of growth.”

Yello Mobile raised this latest round of financing through the issuance of convertible debt expected to value the company at around $4 billion. The company expects to raise additional funds prior to the final close of the financing round in the coming months.

About Yello Mobile

Yello Mobile is a leading mobile Internet company that operates an ecosystem of mobile platforms, applications and services across Asia. Yello Mobile offers consumers and businesses a full range of products and services across its key verticals: Shopping, Media, Advertising, Travel and Online-to-Offline (O2O), also collectively known as SMATO. The company is primarily known for its leading mobile platforms Coocha, Korea’s leading shopping search app, and Pikicast, a leading mobile entertainment and content platform. Yello Mobile supports its various user platforms with a dynamic range of other services, including data management and digital marketing. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Seoul.