South Korean operator SK Telecom has announced that its mobile app store One Store has attracted investments from Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, receiving a total of $15 million from the pair.
The move comes after local telecom operators – KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. – invested a combined 23.44 million won in ONE store earlierin March.
ONE store first launched in 2016 as a local alternative to Google’s Play store on the Android operating system.
While the homegrown app market has struggled against its larger rivals, its share of the local app market reached 18.3 percent as of August last year, compared with Google’s Play at 71.2 percent and Apple Inc.’s App Store at 10.5 percent, according to data from IGAWorks.
“SKT has attracted a new overseas investment just three months after it drew funding from local telecom peers including KT and LG Uplus,” SKT said, adding that the deal has proved One Store’s growth potential as an emerging force in the global app store market.
As such, SKT expects Microsoft will help develop new gaming content based on their cooperation in 5G network and cloud. They are providing high-speed and low-latency Xbox cloud game technologies through Azure.
Deutsche Telekom is expected to support SKT and One Store’s entry and expansion in the global market based on the German telco’s vast network in Europe and elsewhere.
“Deutsche Telekom has agreed to help One Store make foray into Europe, which will facilitate rapid supply of various K-content such as games, digital comic and e-books,” SKT noted.
One Store recently took over novel publisher Rokmedia and established a joint venture with local bookstore chain Yes24 to reinforce web novel and digital comic content.
“One Store has become a representative app market in Korea owned by local and overseas telecom firms as well as global IT companies,” said One Store CEO Lee Jae-hwan. “We will redouble our efforts to create a sound app market ecosystem in Korea and accelerate global expansion.”