Leading PDF library company iText and professional software developer Hancom proudly announce their joint venture, ThinkFree. The ThinkFree brand is to offer Hancom solutions integrated with iText functionality to professional markets in Europe and beyond. By capitalizing on iText’s intimate knowledge of Europe and the United States, Hancom, a South Korean software giant, hopes to make inroads into new markets. iText is a global company headquartered in Belgium.
A combination of iText’s current staff and new hires in its Belgian and American offices will oversee the introduction of ThinkFree solutions and services. The new venture will be provisionally led by iText’s founder and CEO, Bruno Lowagie. This deal is expected to be fully closed by late December.
“This is an opportunity for both companies to progress,” comments Mr Lowagie. “ThinkFree benetifs from iText’s business experience and network to give it every chance to expand in European and American markets, while Hancom will promote our iText libraries in various products it creates for the East-Asian market.” iText currently has over 5,000 customers world-wide, in fields as diverse as finance, government, healthcare and technology. Its customers range from SMEs to global giants.
The joint venture agreement gives considerable autonomy to ThinkFree. Lowagie continues: “We will be able to build our own solutions and market them as we see fit, mixing and matching Hancom technology with our own.” This is in keeping with Hancom’s chosen business model to move away from top-down cooperation models, which was expressed as early as 2013 by Hancom CEO Lee Hong-goo.
In its home market, Hancom (KOSDAQ 030520) has gained a strong reputation as an alternative to Microsoft for office software, with a market share around 20% and a 2014 revenue of $69.3 million USD. Its ThinkFree brand encompasses mobile, web-based and cloud-based solutions as well as customizable tools. ThinkFree Mobile currently comes pre-installed on tablets from Samsung, Fujitsu and HCL.