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From Nexon and NC to Kakao Enter… Saudi Arabia obsessed with game, webtoon, and 'K-content'

Kakao Entertainment (Kakao Enter) has secured an investment of KRW 600 billion from PIF, a sovereign wealth fund led by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Earlier, Nexon and NCSOFT, as well as Kakao Enter, attracted investment from Saudi Arabia as a result of 'K-Content' being recognized for its business value in the global market.

ON THE 12TH, KAKAO ENTER ANNOUNCED THAT SAUDI ARABIA'S SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND, THE PUBLIC INVESTMENT FUND· PIF) in the amount of KRW 600 billion. Kakao Enter's corporate value is reported to be around 10 trillion won. This investment attraction is significant in that it has raised a large amount of money at a time when there are concerns about a global economic slowdown.

Jaehyun Bae, senior vice president of investment governance at Kakao, said, "Despite the general contraction in investment sentiment due to increased economic uncertainty in Korea and around the world, it is very encouraging that we were able to attract investment from overseas institutions such as leading sovereign wealth funds."

The industry analyzes that attracting large-scale global investment has recognized the value of Kakao Enter's "intellectual property (IP) value chain" in the global market. Kakao Enter is developing a wide range of content businesses based on 10,000 webtoon and web novel source IPs, 70,000 music sources, music and video content planning and production capabilities, and platforms.

In addition, last year, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund actively invested in Nexon and NC, the country's largest game companies. PIF invested more than KRW 1 trillion to acquire a 9.26% stake in NC and became the second largest shareholder after Chief Creative Officer Kim Taek-jin. In addition, PIF spent 1 trillion won to purchase a 7.09% stake in Nexon Japan, the headquarters of Nexon.

The investment is expected to further increase the Saudi sovereign wealth fund's influence on "K-content." This is because the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, established in 1971, is the world's largest sovereign wealth fund with total assets of $620 billion (about 773 trillion won).

The reason why Saudi Arabia continues to invest aggressively in content businesses such as games and entertainment can be explained as part of its strategy to reduce dependence on the oil and energy business. As Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pursues "de-oil," the industry analyzes that content fields such as entertainment, games, and metaverse are focusing on them as a means of diversifying economic policies. [News1]

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