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IPOs

Korean VC firm KTB Network aims for 2021 IPO

Feb 16, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

KTB Network is exiting its investment in Woowa Brothers, sold to Delivery Hero for  billion.
KTB Network is exiting its investment in Woowa Brothers, sold to Delivery Hero for $4 billion.

KTB Network Co., a South Korean venture capital firm, will renew its plans to go public this year, after its aggressive investments in both domestic and overseas startups generated a record profit last year.

The wholly owned unit of KTB Investment & Securities Co. decided at a Feb. 16 board meeting to kick off the process to list on the junior Kosdaq market within the year, according to both companies.

“We decided to revisit the IPO plan, as the market environment improved with increased stock market capitalization and the buoyant IPO market, along with the company's improved earnings," KTB Investment & Securities said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday, in reference to the VC firm.

The timeline and value of the IPO have not yet been determined, nor its underwriters.

A KTB Network official said the company will use the IPO proceeds to invest in unicorn companies.

The Seoul-based VC firm’s portfolio includes Woowa Brothers, the operator of the country’s largest food delivery app Baedal Minjok which Germany’s Delivery Hero agreed to buy for $4 billion in 2019. KTB had also invested in South Korea’s leading fintech company, Viva Republica Inc., better known for its Toss brand.

Overseas investments account for 30% of its portfolio. Last year, the US stock market listings of both the US biotech company Berkeley Lights and Xpeng, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, produced handsome returns to KTB Network.

As a first-generation South Korean venture capital firm, it has been diversifying into emerging markets such as Southeast Asia and India.

Back in 2018, it received preliminary approval from the Korea Exchange for a listing but postponed the IPO in early 2019, citing unfavorable market conditions.

With 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) in assets under management, KTB Network posted a record net profit of 35.8 billion won last year, up 136% year on year.

Write to Hyeong-Ju Oh at ohj@hankyung.com

Yeonhee Kim edited this article.

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