Under the agreement, NHN will invest £6.5mln into the Audiens data platform, owned by Bango’s subsidiary Bango Deep, giving NHN a 60% stake.
The company said the two are aiming to develop Audiens into a global data leader through the use of a customer data platform (CDP), which will allow all brands to “plan, execute and analyze their online marketing activities”.
Looking ahead, Bango said it will work with NHN to develop the CDP product and incorporate advanced capabilities, while the £6.5mln investment will help the existing Audiens business accelerate its growth and also provide NHN with a new channel to reach customers outside South Korea.
In addition to the Bango Deep investment, NHN has also agreed to subscribe for around 3.5mln new shares in Bango itself, for £3.2mln.
"This is one of the most exciting milestones in the history of Bango. NHN is a hugely successful data, marketing and payments business based in South Korea, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. NHN has a fantastic growth story and a history of first-mover innovation which, coupled with the existing data platform know-how at Audiens, will enable us to create a powerful force for technology leadership in online commerce", said Bango’s executive chairman Ray Anderson in a statement.
"This deeper relationship underlines the Bango vision of becoming the technology behind every payment choice. I am delighted to welcome this highly successful data technology leader as both a majority shareholder in Audiens and as a strategic investor in Bango", added chief executive Paul Larbey.
In a note to clients, analysts at Bango’s house broker finnCap said the agreement with NHN was “a great deal” and maintained their 225p target price on Bango share.
“This is an excellent deal for Bango, sealed at a time of restricted travel and tightened commercial prospects and possible only because Bango is already partnered, and trusted by the Korean technology giant”, the analysts said.
“The deal takes a noncore, near-breakeven business off the Bango P&L and sharpens management focus, while maintaining a substantive interest in what – now backed by NHN’s cash, expertise and data technology – should become a major global player in the lucrative, high-growth CDP market. On top of this, Bango strengthens its balance sheet with a cash injection and the strategic partnership between NHN and Bango itself is substantively deepened”, they added.
Shares in Bango surged 9.5% to 121.5p in early deals.