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SoftBank Venture Korea Corp has invested 23 per cent in Ini3 Digital

has invested 23 per cent in , the Thai online game service provider, with the goal to together expand business to Southeast Asia region.

Daniel Kang, chief operation officer and partner SoftBank Venture Korea Corp (SBVK) said that the investment in Ini3 Digital is the first investment of SBVK in Thailand. It is the second investment in SEA, follows its investment in Indonesian e-commerce firm ‘Tokopedia’ last year.

He said the investment in Tokopedia and Ini3 Digital were from the company’s AB Pan Asia Fund, which primary focus on funding in a startups in SEA and startups who plans to expand its business in SEA. The company also set 40 per cent of its new funds of total investment funds of between US$100 millions and US$200 million in SEA region through the next couple years.

“We are looking for opportunities to invest in. We only focus on ICT including Internet, mobile Internet, telecommunication, and e-commerce. We are just starting in SEA market since we are looking for growth outside Korea. We see growth opportunity in SEA, especially mobile Internet and economic growth. We need local partner who well understand the local market, therefore, our key strategy is to work with the local partners through the investment,” said Kang.

He added that game industry is growing dynamically. The industry is shrinking from Internet-PC-base online game to mobile platform that there are a lot opportunity in SEA and Ini3 Digital is the good partner to help the company to expand into this growth market area.

“It maybe e-commerce that we are looking for to invest in since e-commerce is quite interesting area, not only in Thailand but also throughout SEA region,” said Kang.

SBVK is 100 per cent subsidiary company of SoftBank Korea, the holding company with 100 per cent subsidiary of SoftBank in Japan. SBVK is to invest in the potential companies in Korea and across SEA region. Thailand is the second place of its investment outside Korea. SBVK has invested in 158 companies around the world with the total investment of over US$320 millions.

Established in 2004, today Ini3 Digital has provided total 24 games across platforms including 21 online games and 3 mobile games. It plans to launch new more seven mobile games and 4 online games in this year.

Ini3 Digital’s chief executive officer Pattera Apithanakoon said that the company aims to become regional player with expanding its business to cover SEA market. Partnering with SBVK is to help company to achieve the goal, by strengthen both company’s financial and game portfolios.

“With the strong SBVK’s portfolios, it helps us a lot to access the potential game contents. Together with our 20-year-experience in online game service providing, we will go regional together. This year we target to increase our profit at 20 per cent from last year. We are now 140 employees with US$10 million in revenue,” said Pattera.

She said the company aims to double its market share in game industry from 8 per cent of the total game industry of over Bt4 billion in 2013 to be 15 per cent of over the Bt5 billion-total-game industry in Thailand this year.

“This year, game industry’s growth is driven by mobile game platform. We also plan to launch the mobile game platform by the next three months,” said Pattera.

Ini3 Digital is to go region to become regional player, the company eyes to expand its game business to countries in the SEA region. The company has already expanded business in Vietnam market through investment in the local mobile game publisher in Vietnam with 49 per cent.

“Vietnam is the largest game market in SEA, followed by Thailand and Indonesia. We are now focusing on strengthen our business in Vietnam this year. Then, we will expand to the next market by late of this year,” said Pattera.

Meanwhile, there is around 5 to 10 per cent of total this revenue would be contributed from SEA market.

Moreover, Ini3 Digital also set up its venture capital arm called Galaxy Venture, in 2012, to invest in the tech startup firms. Currently, Galaxy Venture already invested in four game developers including Page36, Arched Plus, Level Up, and 1-2 Play.

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