LINE NEXT Raises $140M for NFT Marketplace

LINE NEXT, a South Korean company focused on Web3 business strategy and planning, just raised $140 million in a funding round in preparation for the launch of its NFT marketplace next year.

The funding round was led by Crescendo Equity Partners, a private equity firm backed by Peter Thiel. According to the report, DOSI, the global NFT marketplace from LINE NEXT, is scheduled to launch as a mobile app in January 2024. The new marketplace will integrate with LINE’s current non-fungible token marketplace ‘Line NFT.’

LINE NEXT evolved from its popular messaging service Line, an app that explores projects and initiatives in Web3. The company, which aims to onboard millions more into Web3, also has a subsidiary in the U.S. and an office in Japan. It currently boasts 5.5 million users around the world.

The funds will also be used to launch new Web3-focused services, including an app that lets users deploy AI-generated characters and Web3 games. According to the report, the new marketplace will run on the Finschia public blockchain, and as part of the arrangement, LINE NEXT and Crescendo will take on governance roles within the Finschia Foundation.

Youngsu Ko, the CEO of LINE NEXT, said the company will use “this opportunity to further popularize Web3 and develop a new service ecosystem” around digital assets. Kevin Lee, the managing partner of Crescendo, added that they intend to “build a standard for Web3 apps that general users can easily use.”

The Latest in Web3 Funding

Funding rounds for Web3 companies in 2023 have not occurred as frequently as they did in 2021 and at the beginning of 2022. Nevertheless, as the crypto and NFT markets show signs of recovery, we’re seeing more funding rounds from top Web3 companies to close the year. If we hit a bull market in 2024, that trend is likely to continue and perhaps accelerate. Here are three of the top stories about funding rounds this year.

First, last month, the asset management firm Superstate raised $14 million in a Series A funding round co-led by CoinFund and Distributed Global. The goal of the company is to bring on-chain advantages to investors in the U.S., and it believes the future of investing will be transparent, compliant, and programmable.

Next, two months ago, Blackbird, a Web3 restaurant from Ben Leventhal, raised $24 million in a Series A funding round led by a16z. The new concept restaurant plans to use the funding to roll out features and expand rapidly into new markets.

Finally, in August, the popular cross-chain NFT marketplace Magic Eden launched a $1 million fund for creators on Polygon. The Polygon Creator fund will disperse grants to various NFT projects that are innovating on Polygon.

South Korea has been bullish on Web3 for some time now, so it should come as no surprise that Korean companies like LINE NEXT are starting to make major moves. Time will tell if its NFT marketplace schedule to launch in Q1 of next year will be successful, but for now, the company must be pleased with its latest achievement.