Line: An IPO Worth Its $8.6 Billion

The Japanese company has found revenue in mobile messaging. Many of its competitors haven't.

Not a unicorn.

Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

Line, the Japan-based instant messaging company that went public on Thursday with a big jump in its share price that put its value at about $8.6 billion, may be the only of its peers that makes sense as a stand-alone company with a ticker symbol and a market cap. Even though mobile messaging is a huge phenomenon, most of the money is still being made by mobile operators that offer outdated text messages. Line has tried every possible gimmick, and though it's unprofitable, it has solid revenue.

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