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Dear U’s P/B values Weverse at over $4 bil Two major Korean fan platforms have different growth strategies

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2022-05-20 07:53:29

이 기사는 2022년 05월 20일 07:36 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Weverse, the fan community platform of South Korean entertainment giant HYBE, is stepping up its expansion plans with Naver as its new shareholder.

Naver, the country’s internet giant, became the second largest shareholder in Weverse after acquiring a 49% stake in March. The remaining 51% is owned by HYBE. Prior to this transaction, Weverse merged with V LIVE, Naver’s live streaming service.

The book value of Naver’s 49% stake in Weverse was 411.9 billion won ($323.3 million, according to the internet company’s quarterly financial statements released on May 13. This implies the book value of a 100% stake in the fan community platform is 840.6 billion won.

In comparison, Dear U, a fan platform majority-owned by SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment, is listed on the country’s junior Kosdaq market. Its stock price closed at 37,800 per share Wednesday, representing a price-to-book (P/B) ratio of about 6.4 times.

Based on Dear U’s P/B ratio, Weverse’s value is estimated at well over 5 trillion won ($3.9 billion).

Weverse’s revenue rose 12% year-on-year to 41.7 billion won in the first quarter. But the company remains unprofitable with a net loss of 1.6 billion won. In contrast, Dear U made 4.1 billion won in net profit in the same period, although revenue was 11.7 billion won, about a quarter of that of Weverse.

The two companies seem to have different growth strategies. Weverse, like other platform businesses such as Coupang and Kakao, prioritizes top-line growth over margins and focuses on increasing the number of users.

In contrast, at the center of Dear U’s business model is Bubble, a private messaging feature, which is a high-margin service. Fans of SM Entertainment’s artists are known for their loyalty as well. (Reporting by Choong-hee Won)
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