Naver is expected to accelerate its advance into the global market based on its technology investment this year. According to Naver on the 22nd March, its cumulative R&D spending as of the third quarter of 2018 stood at 1.26 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) accounting for nearly 25 percent of its sales. Given that total sales last year were around 5.5 trillion won (US$4.84 billion), the size of annual R&D spending is expected to grow.
Internally, it is focusing on investing in future technologies through search and Artificial Intelligence research organizations – Search & Clova CIC and Naver Labs. Investment in early-stage technology startups with original technologies has also continued steadily through D2SF, Naver’s technology startup accelerator.
Naver’s bold technology advancement interest came to attention with its first participation in this year’s CES 2019, the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition, showcasing its colorful innovations. The core technology developed by Naver Labs is a solution that can build and update three-dimensional high-precision maps indoors and out for smartphones and self-driving machines with xDM, the location, and mobile integration. It has demonstrated products such as the indoor AR navigation robot “Around G,” which is serviced with this platform. The company has also formed a partnership aimed at applying Naver Labs’ xDM technology to LG Electronics’ robots.
Naver Webtoon has recently been growing in the US market, recording 5 million monthly users and 50 million global users. Through its global brand “Line Webtoon,” it is ranked No. 1 in Japan, the US, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan as well as South Korea by providing content that fits local culture. SNOW, which has emerged as a global video camera, continues to upgrade AR technologies and content based on video camera functions and continues to pose new and diverse challenges on the global stage. ZEPETO, which can make “My Own Avatar,” grew rapidly with no special marketing and surpassed the 12 million mark in accumulated downloads three months after its launch in August last year. The global video live service, V LIVE, is accelerating its global expansion based on the global video live technology it has accumulated. It has established a company in Vietnam to expand its global entertainment business and is evolving the competitiveness of the world’s top-notch live technology through its own video technology platform, PRISM.
LINE WORKS of Works Mobile has topped the market for the first time in two years since its release in Japan in 2016. Because it is easy to communicate with LINE, Naver has created a technology-based communication tool that many companies prefer. This year, Clova, an artificial intelligence platform, is planning to unveil “Clova Auto” app that is linked to Smart Device Link(SDL) of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. Clova Auto is added to an SDL platform that connects smartphones and cars, allowing users to enter destinations and send messages by voice.
“In the future, we will strengthen our internal affairs centering on bold technology investment and development, apply Artificial Intelligence technology to all areas, and firmly establish a foundation for growth with creators and small businesses through technologies,” said a Naver official.