Kakao Enterprise growing fast in the AI market
Big conglomerates are increasingly showing interest in business-to-business opportunities, including Kakao Enterprise’s AI technologies. This follows a surge in demand for digitalization in the manufacturing, distribution and finance industries as the coronavirus pandemic has fueled interest in online and non-face-to-face channels.
Kakao Enterprise said Monday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with KBS. Its goal is to introduce an AI announcer by the end of the year to read disaster broadcasts late at night and on public holidays, when they usually lack manpower. The MOU marks the 11th business contract since Kakao Enterprise was established in December.
Earlier on April 27, Kyobo Life Insurance signed an MOU with Kakao Enterprise to provide its AI chatbot to Kyobo’s customer center. And in March, the company signed an MOU with Samsung C&T to build a service that allows Everland ticket sales and food and beverage orders using KakaoTalk by the end of the year. In the same month, the company inked an agreement with LG Electronics to connect Kakao's AI speaker Kakao Mini to all 2020 TV models.
Kakao Enterprise's goal is to become the "AI department store,” in which it offers menus and showrooms for customers to purchase various AI technologies that the company provides, including chatbots and text-to-speech technology. Kakao i, Kakao Enterprise's integrated AI platform, includes visual and translation engines. Another integrated AI platform, "Kakao i Connect," provides services that can replace customer service centers with AI chatbots and talk channels.
Kakao Enterprise differs from the system integration (SI) companies affiliated with large companies that provide customized solutions to their clients.
"If SI companies send employees to install and repair software directly on the client’s servers, Kakao Enterprise provides software and platforms that are already made for companies," a Kakao Enterprise official said.
The company also plans to introduce its business messenger platform, Kakao Work, within the second half of the year. The platform bolsters KakaoTalk's user interface with enhanced security. It will also link major systems such as corporate organizational charts and electronic approval systems.
Kakao Enterprise is also considering entering the distribution market. Kakao Fulfillment, the working title for its forthcoming distribution platform, aims to provide a shared logistics center where several companies share warehouses and delivery companies using IT platforms.
BY KIM JUNG-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]