By Rachael Green, Benzinga
Hanryu Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HRYU) has had an eventful few weeks after its IPO closed last month, generating about $8.8 million in gross proceeds. In total, the company has raised approximately $53million over multiple fundraising rounds to date as its popular fandom social media app FANTOO grows to a user base of over 26 million and the company unveils a series of upgrades and new features slated to roll out in the coming months. Here’s a look at some of the milestones from the past month and how Hanryu is leveraging those to add new revenue potential to its popular fandom app.
What Is FANTOO?
Hanryu first launched FANTOO in 2021 as an all-in-one social media platform for K-culture fans worldwide. As K-pop, K-dramas and other forms of entertainment from South Korea continue to gain a growing international audience, there still hasn’t been a single dedicated destination so far where fans could go for any and all fandoms they are part of. Moreover, language barriers were a major hurdle preventing people with a shared fandom from connecting over the music, show or film that they love.
FANTOO – with its real-time translation technology across 17 languages and features that allow users to create or join clubs built around any fandom – finally created a way to unify this global audience in one platform. For fans, it’s a way to find community and friendship even if they live somewhere with few other K-culture fans nearby.
For Hanryu, it’s an exciting revenue opportunity with the massive advertising potential of a site with millions of dedicated fans. But advertising is just one of the revenue channels Hanryu is building through the platform. It also generates revenue from ticket sales to live shows and transaction fees on the buying and selling that happen in the eBay-like (NASDAQ: EBAY) shop section of FANTOO.
The Future Of FANTOO
Just days after the closing of its IPO, Hanryu announced the launch of version 2.0 of FANTOO. The upgraded app adds powerful data analytics to help deliver personalized content based on interest settings and the communities in which a user is engaged. It also makes a few updates to the interface to make it more user-friendly and intuitive.
“Version 2.0 is also a more robust platform for revenue generation through multiple streams,” said Hanryu CEO Kang Chang Hyeok. “We look forward to releasing additional features and system improvements in the future."
One of those future improvements is an AI-powered conversational virtual assistant. Later in August, Hanryu announced that it had partnered with Saltlux Inc. (KOSDAQ: 304100), the company behind Talkbot, an intelligent chatbot. Together, the companies will develop a virtual assistant for FANTOO built on technology similar to Talkbot that can guide users through the platform, make recommendations based on users’ interests and deliver personalized news and updates about their fandom.
Slated to launch before the end of this year, the FANTOO virtual assistant is just the beginning. Later, Hanryu plans to use AI voice synthesis and deep learning tech to let users customize the voice of their virtual assistant to sound like their favorite artist or actor – or even themselves.
Earlier this month, Hanryu teased even more new chat features coming to the app soon, including emoji purchasing, friend recommendations and club chat rooms where members can join in on club-wide conversations with like-minded fans from around the world – all with the convenience of real-time multilingual translation. A similar open chat room will give users a way to connect with users from other fandoms as well.
Alongside the new chat room features, FANTOO will also soon have enhanced private chats where users can talk over an encrypted channel as well as video call functionality so fans who connect through the app can have “face-to-face” conversations with each other.
“FANTOO is not just a space for fandom, but it is a place for fans with the same interests to meet and form relationships through chatting,” Hyeok said. “We expect these additional new features, including both the current and planned future upgrades, will increase revenue generation through FANTOO."
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