Ticket Monster and NHN Entertainment have also signed a memorandum of understanding to allow NHN Entertainment to promote its convenience payment solution PAYCO via Ticket Monster, and further innovate the end-to-end e-commerce process from ordering an item to paying for it to receiving the goods.
Upon completion of this deal, Ticket Monster is valued at $1.5 billion, which is a 100 per cent increase from its valuation a year ago.
Woo-jin Jung, CEO, NHN Entertainment said in a statement, “TMON’s corporate DNA of making quick market assessments and putting innovation into motion – coupled with the mobile commerce market’s continuous growth is the foundation of our partnership. Together, we will have a strategic, long-term relationship that leverages on the expertise and core businesses of both companies.”
NHN Entertainment is a subsidiary under the KRX-listed Naver Corporation, which was previously known as NHN Corporation. According to a report by Wall Street Journal citing unnamed sources, NHN Entertainment will come to own “just under three per cent of Ticket Monster”.
The report also noted that Ticket Monster is raising a $300 million fund as it goes head-to-head with the country’s largest mobile and social e-commerce company Coupang, which raised $1 billion in funding from SoftBank last year.
“TMON will live up to NHNE’s faith in our potential for growth and innovation. With NHN Entertainment’s unmatched expertise in IT infrastructure management, we will revolutionize TMON’s commerce platform to ultimately offer customers the best shopping experience,” added Daniel Shin, CEO, Ticket Monster.
Founded in February 2010, Ticket Monster was acquired by Korea-based LivingSocial in 2011 for an undisclosed sum. Three years later, LivingSocial, which appeared to be cutting expenditures, sold Ticket Monster to US-based e-commerce deals platform Groupon for $260 million.
However, in April 2015, Groupon entered into an agreement to sell a controlling 46 per cent fully diluted stake in Ticket Monster to investment firm KKR, Hong Kong private equity firm Anchor Equity Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Temasek’s Pavilion Capital for $360 million, while retaining a 41 per cent fully diluted stake in the Korean company.
According to a company announcement, Ticket Monster has generated 40 per cent half-on-half growth in total transaction value in the second half of 2015, and hit KRW 280 billion (about $244 million) in total transaction value in December 2015.
Operating out of three key verticals specifically goods, local and travel, the company claims to offer more than 100,000 store keeping units (SKU) through partnerships with around 91,000 merchants. Last year, 80 per cent of all transactions on Ticket Monster were completed on mobile devices, said the company.