SEOUL, South Korea, February 21, 2022 (Newswire.com) – Global creative studio LINE FRIENDS announced that they are changing its corporate name to ‘IPX,’ a ‘digital IP platform’ company, officially entering the digital IP based metaverse and NFT business.
Seven years since its establishment, LINE FRIENDS is taking on a new corporate identity for a digital and virtual IP oriented business transformation, beyond offline retail businesses. Now as IPX, the company will expand with a focus on the global fandom based digital IP business ecosystem, leading the metaverse generation. Specifically, IPX will emphasize the ‘IP eXperience,’ and deliver the company values of various IP oriented joy in digital lifestyle to the Millennials and Generation Z. The name ‘LINE FRIENDS’ will remain effective for its Original Characters IPs, offline stores, and its subsidiaries.
Separating itself from LINE Corp. in 2015, LINE FRIENDS initially focused on developing its offline retail business. However, through a rapid digital transformation strategy prior to the pandemic, LINE FRIENDS broadened its business in character IPs from merchandise to life-like IPs as dynamic virtual influencers. Through shifting offline stores virtually, LINE FRIENDS also succeeded in expanding its digital brand experience and strengthening its online commerce, transforming into a digital IP business. In the process, the company’s total IP transactions reached around USD 833 million last year with around 28% CAGR in total IP transactions since 2016, and a 31% increase in online sales compared to 2019, despite the pandemic.
Recently, IPX unveiled ‘FRENZ,’ a new IP generating platform where users can create their own character IPs reflecting their own personality and taste, that can be expanded into other metaverse and NFT services, officially beginning its character centered digital IP entertainment business. IPX, through strategic partnerships and investments with other platforms and service companies in metaverse and NFT business, will continue to support the growth of ‘FRENZ.’
To secure diverse IPs, IPX will discover promising IP holders in fostering high growth potential IPs. For the overall digital IP market, IPX will implement a business support program for their IPs’ commercial and license businesses, and even expansion into digital areas such as metaverse services and NFT games. Much like BT21, WDZY, TRUZ and other IPs, IPX also plans to launch the new virtual character IPs in collaboration with global artists in fashion and entertainment industry, continuing its expertise and creative capabilities in virtual character IP, developing afresh virtual IPs and joining hands with partners in various industries, including entertainment and gaming.
“IPX’s creative capabilities and unique moves continue to break the framework of the existing character business, shifting from retail oriented to digital business and targeting over 40 million fandom worldwide including Millennials and Generation Z,” said James Kim, CEO of IPX. “With this change of corporate name, IPX will pioneer new metaverse and NFT businesses with its competitive IPs to build the digital IP business ecosystem that allows anyone to create and share their own character IPs, leading the ‘digital IP entertainment business.'”
About IPX (FKA. LINE FRIENDS)
IPX is a new corporate name of LINE FRIENDS, a global character brand that originally started from Original Characters including BROWN, CONY, SALLY created for use as stickers for the leading mobile messenger app LINE and its 200 million active users worldwide. Upon rapidly transforming its offline business to digital, the total Intellectual Property (IP) transaction reached USD 883 million in 2021, and IPX announced itself as a ‘digital IP platform’ company to enter the digital IP based metaverse and NFT business.
IPX officially began its digital IP entertainment business by unveiling ‘FRENZ,’ a new IP generator platform where users can create their own character IPs and further use them expanding into metaverse and NFT services. Through strategic partnerships and investments with blockchain gaming, NFT, and metaverse companies, IPX will continue to expand its own technology and expertise. Moving forward, IPX will collaborate with global artists from the fashion and entertainment business in developing new influential virtual IPs, as well as discovering promising IP holders and fostering them to expand their scope in digital IP business areas such as NFT, leading the digital IP centered metaverse generation.
IPX has created popular IPs – ‘BT21’ (BTS), ‘WDZY’ (ITZY), ‘TRUZ’ (TREASURE) – and expanded its IP-based business by partnering with global media and game companies including Netflix (original animated series), SUPERCELL (Brawl Stars) and NEXON (KartRider), further diversifying and strengthening its competitiveness in digital contents. Recently, IPX opened its first ever virtual store on the global metaverse service, ‘Play Together’ and expanded the boundaries of its popular IPs to virtual character influencers to win the hearts of Millennials and Generation Z worldwide. IPX currently operates in 15 markets worldwide including Seoul, New York, LA, Tokyo, and Shanghai, and also operates in 15 online sales platforms.
Sage Park, Account Manager, Ketchum
Source: LINE FRIENDS