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Line Moves Forward with Fintech through Acquisition

2019-01-04 10:38 Friday

Thanks to the favorable policies and rising acceptance among consumers, fintech has registered phenomenal growth over the past few years. In many jurisdictions government authorities have issued banking reforms that have , which has created  opportunities for finance and technology enterprises engaged in product innovation. Many enterprisesare now actively seeking to acquire fintech companies as a means of strengthening financial security and service innovation demanded by their customers.


Line Plus Corporation, a South Korea-based subsidiary of Japanese messaging platform Line, has acquired cybersecurity firm GrayHash in a bid to enhance its fintech security. GrayHash is a Korean online security research center specializing in offensive research and counter-hacking techniques.

Through the acquisition, GrayHash has been rebranded as GrabLab and will be tasked with developing and optimizing security solutions for LINE's various services. GrayHash CEO and co-founder SeungJin Lee, who has extensive experience in the field, will stay on as the head of GrayLab. Lee previously served in the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutor's office as an advisor to the Cyber Bureau of Investigation.

Security has become a growing concern for Line since it launched its own crypto token and blockchain functions in August. In addition, it has teamed with Mizuho Financial Group to establish a new smartphone-based bank in Japan, via a joint venture.

In September, the firm also announced that it would expand its fintech business after raising US$1.33 billion through convertible bonds. The move follows a series of hacking attacks against large firms, including  Marriott and Quora, over the past month.

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