LINE invests in Japanese online video startup 3Minute


Days since the company launched a $42 million investment fund, LINE has already announced its first investment. The “LINE Life Global Gateway Fund” is investing an undisclosed sum into 3Minute, a Japanese wbe-based video production startup.


LINE invests in 3Minute

3Minute stands out from other online media companies because it is focused on women who make videos for YouTube. Its clients include models izu (Misaki Izuoka), who became popular through a series of YouTube makeup tutorials and has since gained more than 570,000 followers on her official Line account. 3Minute says it will add another 100 female YouTube video creators to its books by next month.

LINE Corp., the Japanese company which is owned by Naver, said this week that its investment fund will help it build its entire ecosystem which now includes mobile payments, taxi-calling and food delivery services in Thailand to its LINE TV video streaming service – also in Thailand.

Line’s new investment in 3Minutes will help the company expand its entertainment portfolio, and it will reportedly publish content from 3Minute’s YouTube artists on the messaging app in addition to LINE BLOG and LINE Q, its smartphone-based Q&A app.

Line 3Minute - Misaki Izuoka

3Minute client, Japanese model Misaki Izuoka.

It seems that Line’s goal is to transform itself not just from a messaging and social media platform, but to become a one-stop portal for a range of smartphone-based services. If it can achieve its goal, it will become less dependent on mobile gaming and chat for revenue, which

The company’s goal is to transform Line from a messaging tool to a one-stop shop for smartphone-accessible services. If it is successful, Line will decrease its dependence on mobile gaming for revenue, which was the cause of its latest earnings coming in below market expectations.

The launch of additional services should also help generate revenue from its sizeable user base in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan (its top markets), and deal with uncertain growth in other countries. Several other Asia-based messaging apps such as China’s WeChat and South Korea’s Kakao Talk are also toying with additional such as taxi-calling and bill payments.

Let us know in the comments below what you think of Line’s overall strategy of becoming a lifestyle brand, rather than just a chat app.