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South Korea’s Between, a chat app for couples, raises USD3M

Between

Between's new sticker store

VCNC, the startup behind Between, a popular communication app for couples, has raised a KRW 3B (USD 3M) round from four investors, reported Korean tech blog beSuccess.

The app enables couples to engage in private conversations, share moments and milestones, and create memos for date ideas.

The participants in the round are all Korea-based VC firms. They are: Stonebridge Capital, KTB Network, Capstone Partners, and Softbank Ventures. Stonebridge and KTB invested USD1M each, while Capstone and Softbank contributed USD500k each. Softbank had earlier contributed USD1M in seed money to the startup.

The latest capital injection will be used for overseas expansion and for hiring experienced developers to improve Between’s backend, VCNC founder Jaewook Park told beSuccess.

The company is aiming this year to grow its Japanese market to be equivalent to its presence in Korea. Right now, Between, which is available on iOS and Android, has accumulated 2.35M downloads globally with 1.6M of those coming from Korea.

About 60 percent of its downloads, or 1.41M, convert to become monthly active users.

Edward Lee, co-founder of Between, shared with SGE that the app has been receiving about 14M messages and 200K photos a day. Among daily actives, it is registering an average daily usage of 10 minutes per user.

For an app that launched in November 2011, or barely more than a year ago, their achievements are ahead of the curve.

The latest investment round will give it enough room to crack monetization. Between has been trying to generate revenue from its expansive user base, testing out a variety of revenue models.

Just this week, it launched an in-app store that allows Between users to buy animated stickers and use them to chat with their loved ones. Chat apps KakaoTalk and LINE have been adopting this model.

VCNC is also using Between as a distribution and advertising channel to sell products from its partners. At the Open Web Asia conference last year, the company revealed that it started a trial with Memebox, a Birchbox-like service in Korea, and managed to sell a couple hundred boxes within 10 hours.

Between has also been using the app to promote events and services.


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