Writing in Quartz, Josh Horwitz points out that the time for its IPO could have been two years ago, before growth slowed and Facebook got such a head start. That means any early investor who owned Line stock has seen a return of 27% in just over three hours of trading. "There's a number of these large unicorns that are consumer internet based companies that are going to look to this as a barometer for the market appetite for this kind of business". Including its overallotment arrangement with underwriters, Line could raise up to $1.3 billion in all.
Line had delayed establishing its IPO price range in late June keeping in mind the impact of Britain's shock decision to exit the European Union on global markets.
Calling the Line IPO a "bold step toward greater change", Lee said Naver has gained significant leeway to make more aggressive investment into new, promising technologies that can survive the competition and win over users around the world.
Its shares fell 50% during their first six months of trading and the company was acquired by Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion this past February.
There will be a party in Times Square to celebrate the NYSE listing, according to a Line blog post. That means 25% of users are ditching the Line messaging app altogether.
First, here's everything you need to know about Line stock's debut today...
One service allows users to create and sell their own characters, while Line's homegrown stable of stickers include the duck Sally, a sad-faced bear called Brown and Cony the rabbit. Messaging apps could challenge with e-commerce and other functions such as buying an airplane ticket or shopping, in addition to using a chat bot to execute tasks through the app, he said. Last year, it had its first quarter without growth and its income of $298 million for the first quarter of 2016 - while impressive for a messaging app - isn't a big increase in runrate on its sales for 2015.
He said advertising will continue to be a revenue pillar for the company, which recently began providing optimized advertisements based on user demographics and interest data.
Not only did this company enter the market well above its original pricing but it set a precedent for all other tech companies looking to go public.
Mr. Idezawa said the company intends to continue investing to boost users in Indonesia, where it is No. 2.
Known for its cute and innovative digital stickers, Line is hugely popular across much of East and Southeast Asia and is widely used in Spain and Mexico as well.
Chin told CNBC that the company's aim right now is to expand Line's functionality rather than focus on building it in other countries.