Overseas investments

Naver invests $150 million in Indonesia’s No.1 media group Emtek

Min-Ki Koo

Apr 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)


South Korea’s online platform giant Naver Corp. has invested $150 million in Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek), Indonesia’s largest technology, telecom and media conglomerate, to bolster its operations in the Southeast Asian region.

Naver said in a statement on Apr. 7 that the equity investment is aimed at jointly finding new growth opportunities in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, with its regional partners.

“Through the strategic partnership with Emtek, we will create synergy in various areas. Together with our partners in Southeast Asia, Naver will take Asian business models to the global stage,” said Lee Jung-an, head of corporate development and investment at Naver.

Emtek is Indonesia’s ninth-largest business conglomerate with about $10 billion in market capitalization. Established in 1983, Emtek owns Vidio, one of the country’s largest over-the-top (OTT) service providers, and a couple of national and local broadcast channels. The conglomerate’s other businesses include original content production and distribution, payments, e-commerce and cloud.

Naver has been aggressively investing in promising startups and businesses in Southeast Asia, where the online business growth potential is greater than in other regions.

Naver’s investments in Southeast Asia

Companies Timing Amount
Balancehero Mar. 2018 4 billion won
RBW Jan. 2020 500 million won
Bukalapak Feb. 2020 11 billion won
Carousell Sept. 2020 69.6 billion won
Emtek Apr. 2021 167.8 billion won

GREATER BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

In March 2020, Naver, with its subsidiary Line Corp., invested over $10 million into the Malaysia-based online shopping platform iPrice through a growth fund it set up with Mirae Asset Daewoo Co.

In September, the fund committed $80 million to Singapore-based startup Carousell, a marketplace platform for used goods. The platform is offered in seven languages, including Malaysian, Indonesian and Tagalog.


Other investments include $150 million into Singapore-based ride-hailing startup Grab, as well as stake acquisitions in Indonesia-based e-commerce platform Bukalapak and grocery platform HappyFresh.

Separately, Naver operates Line Webtoon, the largest webcomics platform in Indonesia and Thailand, and its messenger service Line, which has 81 million users in Southeast Asia.

According to global consulting firm Bain & Co., the digital economy of the Southeast Asian market is expected to grow to $300 billion in 2025 from $100 billion this year.

“The Southeast Asian market has more growth opportunities in the digital economy, compared to advanced countries,” said a Naver official. “We will look for more investment opportunities for business expansion in the region.”

Write to Min-Ki Koo at kook@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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