Piccoma Manga App To Launch Its IPO On Tokyo Stock Exchange

Japanese manga reading app Piccoma‘s parent company Kakao Piccoma is listing itself on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It’ll launch its IPO in the first half of 2023 somewhere between January and June.

The people involved in this listing estimate the company to have a market capitalization of more than 800 billion yen.

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In June 2021, Kakao received a 60 billion yen funding from an investment fund based in Hong Kong and South Korea.

Mitsushige Akino, Executive Officer of Ichiyoshi Asset Management, said on Piccoma’s 800 billion yen market valuation, “At the time, I think the company had a high valuation because of its growth appeal, but it will be difficult in the future.” He further added, “It’s quite difficult for a company that isn’t making a lot of profit to give a big valuation.

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The financial holding company, Nomura Holding will be the underwriters for the enlisting company. The listing date may change depending on the market situations then.

Piccoma's app.
The screen of the manga app “Piccoma”Source: Source: Kakao Piccoma Corp.

Piccoma is currently competing in Japan with LINE manga app for the top spot in terms of sales. Piccoma is owned by Korean messaging app Kakao and is their subsidiary handling manga division in Japan.

The combined manga sales in paper and electronic format has rose in 2021, a 10% year on year to 675.9 billion yen, according to Japan Publishers Association and Research Institute for Publishing Science. The electronic manga sales alone have increased by 20% and exceeded 400 billion yen for the first time.

Comic Market Share – From Paper to Electronic

graph bloomberg.jp
Source: Japan Publishers Association, Research Institute for Science of Publication

Estimated sales in the e-manga market increased by 20% year-on-year to 411.4 billion yen

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The electronic manga market has continued to grow since Covid19 pandemic. According to research conducted by Impress Research Institute, the Japanese domestic electronic manga sales has increased by 16.4%.

The manga sales for this FY2021 is 466 billion yen, an increase of ~66 billion yen from previous years 400.2 billion yen.

The market share of the industry has also increased to 84.6%, an increase of 1.6% from previous years 83%.

On the contrary, the advertising market for manga apps were sluggish. Despite the increase in user base, the advertising market for manga apps remained at 26 billion yen, same as previous year. Even the projection of the market is humbly 27 billion yen for next year.

This is caused due to the drop in advertising unit cost and the deterioration of advertising index. Along with this, the privacy protection rule is also hinted to be the reason as well for the loss.

In addition, the overall sales for e-books in Japan have rapidly increased during the pandemic. It has reached 551 billion yen in FY2021.

For this survey, data was taken by conducting interviews with publishers, e-book stores, distributors, content providers, internet advertising companies, e-library service providers etc. along with the questionnaires given to the users.

The e-book sales have increased by 14.3% from previous years growth of 28.6%. As per Impress Research Institute, the growth is due to the increased consumption of content thanks to the continuation of work from home and stay at home scenario.

The growth was extrapolated to be 537.8 billion yen in FY2021, however, it exceeded its mark. In the FY2026 the growth is expected to be 804.8 billion yen.

The annual cumulative sales for Piccoma in 2021 was 69.4 billion yen, a huge increase from 37.6 billion yen of previous year. The quarterly growth of FY2021 also surpassed the quarterly growth of FY2020.

The net income of the company as of end of December 2021 was 4.8 billion yen.

Kakako Talk app is Korea’s top messaging app with market capitalization of about 34 trillion won i.e. ~ 3.5 trillion yen.

Source: Bloomberg Japan

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