Skip to content
  • KOSPI 3007.33 -5.80 -0.19%
  • KOSDAQ 993.70 -7.92 -0.79%
  • KOSPI200 393.18 -0.56 -0.14%
  • USD/KRW 1175.6 -6.10 -0.52%
  • JPY100/KRW 1,027.85 -4.88 -0.47%
  • EUR/KRW 1,369.87 -5.10 -0.37%
  • CNH/KRW 183.82 -0.50 -0.27%
View Market Snapshot

Kosdaq IPOs

Metaverse startups enjoy unrivaled attention on Kosdaq

By Mar 31, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

MAXST's AR guide for product installation and repair (Courtesy of MAXST)
MAXST's AR guide for product installation and repair (Courtesy of MAXST)

South Korea’s virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) companies are rushing to get listed on the Kosdaq, as betting on metaverse stocks emerges as a growing investing trend worldwide.

Metaverse, combining “meta” and “universe,” is a shared virtual space that converges virtual and physical realms to bring imagination to life.

According to banking sources on Mar. 30, AR company MAXST Co. has filed for a preliminary screening by the Korea Exchange as a part of the IPO process.

MAXST Co. developed the country’s first AR software development kit in 2012, with which the company provides industrial AR solutions to companies including Samsung Electronics Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and KT Corp. The company's strategic investors include Hyundai Motor Co. and Mando Corporation.

A typical screening takes around 45 working days but may be delayed due to the recent rise in the number of applications. The AR company expects listing on the local bourse within the second half of 2021, with Hana Financial Investment Co. as its underwriter.

Another company that is drawing market attention is NP Inc., the content affiliate of WYSIWYG Studios Co., which also targets a Kosdaq listing within this year through a merger with Samsung SPAC 2. NP has also filed for a preliminary screening by the Korea Exchange.

NP last year established XON Studios, Korea’s first virtual production studio, which uses VR and AR technologies to produce virtual environment content.

WCG 2020 used NP's AR and VR technology (Courtesy of NP)
WCG 2020 used NP's AR and VR technology (Courtesy of NP)

One of NP’s major projects was the global e-sports festival World Cyber Games (WCG) 2020, which used the company’s VR and AR technologies for contactless broadcasting to surpass more than 650 million views worldwide.

4by4 Inc., a VR-based visual content company, also eyes public listing within the second half of 2021, with Daishin Securities as the underwriter. The company is currently producing VR content that offers the virtual experience of being in the royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.

4by4's special venue film for LG Electronics (Courtesy of 4by4)
4by4's special venue film for LG Electronics (Courtesy of 4by4)

GIANTSTEP Inc., which made its Kosdaq debut on Mar. 24, also uses VR technologies to produce visual content. The company recently worked with Naver Corp. to produce a contactless concert using its extended reality (XR) technology, which combines the features of VR and AR.

GIANTSTEP made a strong debut on the local stock market on its first day of trading, by opening at double its IPO price and closing at the upper daily limit.

GIANTSTEP technology used in a Samsung QLED 8K TV commercial (Courtesy of GIANTSTEP)
GIANTSTEP technology used in a Samsung QLED 8K TV commercial (Courtesy of GIANTSTEP)

Financial analysts project that Kosdaq will continue to see more IPOs of VR and AR companies.

“While the global digital content industry is expected to grow by 11% annually from 2017 to 2022, the AR- and VR-based content market will grow by 68.5% annually during the same period. The spread of contactless culture is driving industry growth,” said Samsung Securities Analyst Choi Min-ha.

Others also point out that not all IPOs will succeed, given that the market is still nascent.

“Most AR and VR companies are likely to apply for special listings, without tangible performance results. Return on investment may lag behind expectations if industry growth is slower than current projections,” said an investment banking source.

Write to Jong-Woo Kim at jongwoo@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

Comment 0

0/300