This morning, we released a TR-1 notifying the market that NHN Corporation has increased its shareholding in Bango PLC, meaning it now holds just over 10% of Bango.
NHN is a valued and supportive shareholder. Their reasoning for this support is well articulated in a video recorded by the CEO of NHN Data (see here). The Bango relationship with NHN has several synergistic aspects. NHN is a partner, a data provider, a joint venture partner and an investor – a brief paragraph on each aspect of our relationship with them is listed below.
A Strong Partner in South Korea – Alongside its leading South Korean internet businesses, NHN also operates the largest payment platform in Korea. They have developed powerful tools that use AI and machine learning to help merchants grow their businesses more quickly. NHN partners with Bango to build strong Bango partnerships with mobile operators and app developers in South Korea (and neighboring regions).
A Data Provider – As an operator of a payment platform NHN, naturally, has a significant amount of payment data, which it is now able to monetize via Bango Audiences. As with all our data providers, Bango shares a portion of Bango Audience revenue back with NHN.
A Joint Venture Partner – In April 2020, Bango and NHN formed a joint venture; NewDeep (read the RNS here). Alongside interest in the Bango business, NHN was excited by the way Bango had advanced our purchase behavior targeting technology from an earlier acquisition of Italian CDP (customer data platform) company Audiens. NHN was also impressed by the way we had grown the core Audiens business and refocussed it towards the fast-growing Shopify ecosystem. NHN saw that by injecting its know-how, and by providing investment, it could support the growth of the Audiens business from dozens to thousands of customers.
An Investor – NHN initiated a 4.7% holding in Bango PLC in April 2020 and has grown that stake by buying on the market over the last two years, to just over 10% today. Ahead of Strategy Day in October 2020, we asked Jin Soo Lee, CEO of NHN Data, why NHN invests in Bango. His response: “We support the Bango strategy to create the global platform that uniquely brings together payment data and marketing. Bango, with its unique and special position at the center of payment behavior, can scale up from its a business generating tens of millions of dollars of revenues today, to a business generating hundreds of millions of dollars in future. Bango has strong partnerships and a sophisticated software platform, which means it can scale without major capital investment. That is why we have, since our first investment just over a year ago, continued to acquire shares from the market, more than doubling our stake”.
In each capacity, the support NHN shows to the Bango business, and the value our relationship brings to them, is clear.