Poolus gets W22 billion investment

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Poolus gets W22 billion investment

Korean carpool start-up Poolus raised 22 billion won ($19.6 million) in its first round of venture capital financing, the largest amount ever raised in a series A round in Korea.

An investment cooperative comprising Naver and Mirae Asset as well as venture capital Yellow Dog and SK Holdings participated in the funding. Naver and Mirae Asset established a 100 billion won fund last year to invest in ventures utilizing emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analysis and autonomous vehicles.

Poolus is an on-demand car pool start-up founded last year which matches registered drivers and riders who are going in a similar direction. The driver can pick up multiple riders at the same time, resembling a car pool service, as long as the passenger agrees. Establishing its own data analysis center, Poolus aims to provide a more accurate mobility solution in the future.

“The secured funding will be preemptively used in technology development and expanding the high-quality workforce in order to expand the market and upgrade our services,” said Kim Tae-ho, co-founder and CEO of Poolus in a press release. “We will focus on proving the value of ride-sharing services, which will innovatively solve transportation and environment-related issues,” Kim added.

Since it started last year in May in Pangyo, Bundang, Poolus has accumulated some 750,000 members as of September. The service is available nationwide and has been used some 3.7 million times.

“The fact that a start-up attracted a large-scale series A investment shows that the company has proven its potential,” said one industry insider. “The investment shows that Poolus has been acknowledged for its future potential,” the insider added.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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