GS Caltex and GS Energy buy 0.73% of Kakao Mobility
Kakao Mobility is 69.21 percent owned by Kakao. It offers various transportation-related services, including taxis, parking spaces, bicycles and navigation.
GS Caltex will invest 25 billion won and GS Energy 5 billion won to acquire 0.73 percent of the company.
“GS Caltex expects synergy effects by combining GS Caltex’s gas station infrastructure and Kakao Mobility’s future mobility capacity,” the oil refining company said in a release Monday.
GS Caltex operates some 2,300 gas stations and 370 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stations across the country. It also operates 100 electric vehicle chargers.
Under the latest partnership, GS Caltex plans to use Kakao Mobility’s data and autonomous driving technology to upgrade the convenience and improve the profitability of its existing network. Kakao Mobility plans to use GS gas stations as offline bases for its services such as offering repair and charging for taxis.
This is not the first time for the two companies to work together.
Last year, Kakao Mobility in partnership with GS Caltex started offering battery charging services for Kakao Mobility’s electric-bicycle sharing service at some gas stations.
GS Caltex, the third biggest gas station operator in Korea, has been keen on developing its existing network to something more useful and futuristic amid the push toward electric cars.
Last November, GS Caltex unveiled its "Energy Plus Hub," a new brand for its gas stations. They not only offer charging services for electric cars but also act as car-sharing platforms and logistics hubs.
“Collaboration among different industries will be very important in future mobility where various technologies in autonomous driving and artificial intelligence have to come together,” a GS Caltex spokesman said. “Aside from the latest investment, GS Caltex is going to continue to form partnershisp with companies from various fields.”
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]