Dunamu is backed by Kakao, but what happened to their blockchain collaboration?
Dunamu may have grown from the initial investment of Kakao and the exchange company Upbit, but their blockchain collaboration project is yet to take place. However, the industry still expects it will happen as the two companies and their executives are in a close relationship. According to the audit report from Dunamu on the 14th, it’s top shareholder is the chairman Mr. Song (26.8%), closely followed by the current vice president of Dunamu Mr. HyungNyun Lee. Other shareholders include K Cude Venture Investment Association (11.7%), Kakao (8.1%), Atinum Investment Corporation Association (7.0%), Qualcomm (6.5%), Kakao Youth Startup Funds (2.7%), and some others that did not show up in the report takes up 14.9%. The relationships among the shareholders project a completely different outlook on the 8.1% owned by Kakao, which may seem insignificant on the surface. Kakao owns about 60.6% of K Cude Venture Investments, as well as 36.7% of the Kakao Youth Startup Funds. Combining all of them, the actual holdings that Kakao has of Dunamu amounts to 22.4%. The number is second-largest, next to the chairman Mr. Song. Kakao classified Dunamu as a affiliated company on its consolidated financial statement. Here, the ‘affiliated company’ means owning more than 20% of the stocks and therefore has a major influence over the management’s decisions. Still, Kakao claimed Dunamu as simply ‘an investment.’ Although Dunamu has the significant connection with Kakao, their possible collaboration on blockchain projects haven’t happened yet. Rather, both companies are more focused on their own projects for now. Dunamu earnestly expanded its business through the investments from exchange Upbit; it not only kept their original business model, but also started blockchain/cryptocurrency projects as well. Non-blockchain projects include: ▲ FutureWiz, the B2B solution platform, and ▲ Fin-Tech investment services ‘Dunamu Investments.’ For blockchain-related businesses, it fully invested in blockchain projects through ▲Dunamu & Partners, and established▲ Root One Soft ▲ Lamda 256 ▲ DXM in order to provide services such as wallet-services, BaaS services, and De-FI services, etc. All in all, Dunamu spent a whopping 92.3 billion Korean won for all these investments. As for Kakao, it established their own brand of blockchain technology company GroundX and released Klaytn, which consists of governance councils that manages Klaytn management. Domestic corporations such as Kakao, LG Electronics, SK Networks, Amore Pacific as well as global companies such as Binance, Huobi, Union Bank from Philippines, Everrich Group are all participating in this project. The number of companies participating in the Klaytn ecosystem itself is also substantial. 46 companies are counted for the initial participation, and 13 more which are using Klaytn to produce their own services. In total, over 60 companies are either already in service, or preparing to launch. However, there’s still no movement detected on the collaboration of these two companies. In fact, the cryptocurrency Klay has been only released to the exchanges in Indonesia, Singapore and Japanese Exchange Liquid, excluding the only domestic exchange (Upbit). There aren’t that many Klaytn cryptocurrencies that are listed within Upbit. Currently Cosmo, Carry Protocol, and recent Piction Network (PXL) are the only ones that are listed in won Market. Even if the range expands to BTC market it only adds Bora, Data ? barely scrapping to 10 cryptocurrencies or so. Interestingly, there are some competing projects between the two companies as well. Dunamu’s Ramda256 developed Lunibus ecosystem based on the BaaS technology, whereas Kakao has its own version of ecosystem based on Klaytn and also are in the process of developing KAS (Klaytn API Service). KAS and BaaS are very similar in a sense that they both provide blockchain in cloud. Although there hasn’t been any notable news on the blockchain/cryptocurrency collaboration front, the industry expects it to happen soon. The reason behind the anticipation is also due to the CEO of Dunamu, Mr. SeokWoo Lee, being the former executive of Kakao. Before moving to Dunamu on Dec of 2017, Mr. Lee was a co-executive of both Kakao and Joins, and also has a close relationship with current Kakao Chairman Mr. Kim due to their times together during NHN. Their close professional relationship explains the industry’s anticipation on the possible collaborative project. However, as the current government isn’t so welcoming when it comes to cryptocurrency developments and businesses, Kakao may reconsider their decision to move forward with blockchain projects for now. When the launch of a cryptocurrency wallet-clip (‘Klip’) by Kakao was postponed last year, the industry saw the decision as an effort to minimize the noise in the process of becoming the largest shareholder of Kakao Bank. ※This article is published with the permission of Blockmedia. https://www.blockmedia.co.kr/archives/137183