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AI edtech startup Buzzvil readies for 2022 listing; hires IPO manager

Heralded as a future unicorn, the company boasts world's largest reward ad network and competitive AI-based technology

By Jun 09, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

AI edtech startup Buzzvil readies for 2022 listing; hires IPO manager

South Korea-based artificial intelligence startup Buzzvil is preparing to make a trading debut on the country’s junior bourse Kosdaq in the third quarter of next year. 

On Jun. 8, the edtech startup announced that it has hired Mirae Asset Securities as its initial public offering manager. Buzzvil plans to use the IPO proceeds to advance its AI-powered ad technology and grow as a frontrunner in the mobile advertising market. 

Founded in 2012 by a four-time startup founder Lee Kwan-woo, Buzzvil became famous for its mobile lock-screen advertising service. The company processes over 200 million pieces of data related to users' behavioral and purchasing patterns on a daily basis. Also, its advanced AI-based targeting and rewards technologies offer four times higher conversion rates compared to general ads.

As of June 2021, the platform reported 39 million cumulative users and 20 million monthly active users. It has also logged a 59% annual average audience growth rate over the last five years.

Heralded as a future unicorn, the company provides its services to over 150 global clients, including Korea's three leading telecommunication carriers and retail giants such as CJ, Lotte and SPC.

In the first quarter of this year, Buzzvil logged an all-time high quarterly profit of 19.1 billion won ($17.2 million), up by 150% compared to the year-earlier period. The surge in revenue is owing to securing orders from major commerce companies and acquiring Pincrux, a leading ad platform in the financial industry.

The company's revenue has posted a 33% annual average growth rate over the past five years. Buzzvil anticipates the upward trend to continue backed by the growing digital advertising market.

According to marketing firm Cheil Worldwide, the domestic digital advertising market size reached 5.7 trillion won last year, up by 13% from the previous year. This year, digital advertising costs are expected to exceed 6 trillion won.

In the first half of this year, the company applied for patents on machine learning-based AI technologies. Currently, Buzzvil holds over 30 intellectual property rights including patents and trademark rights in 13 countries.

“Our goal is to become the most competitive startup in the edtech industry,” said CEO Lee, adding that Buzzvil aims to contribute to the growth of the advertising ecosystem that offers benefits to advertisers, publishers and users.

Write to Ye-jin Jun at ace@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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