Kakao Mobility looks to get moving beyond its borders
Kakao Mobility is planning to go beyond the Korean borders, the company said Thursday.
Kakao Mobility, which runs taxi-hailing app Kakao T, held an online press conference Thursday, outlining its overseas expansion strategy as the Covid-19 pandemic starts to wane across the globe.
During the conference, the Kakao subsidiary revealed its plan to allow those traveling outside of Korea to use local taxi-hailing services through its Kakao T app. The goal is to make the service available in more than 120 countries, according to the company.
Moreover, the Kakao subsidiary will collaborate with other transportation service companies operating overseas and make direct investments to accelerate its market penetration even outside taxi-hailing service business.
A more detailed plan will be released in the third quarter, the company said.
Kakao Mobility also introduced a 5-year plan to utilize 50 billion won ($41 million) of its parent company Kakao’s 300-billion-won investment fund, with the goal of supporting its partners — including taxi drivers.
Kakao went under fire for its aggressive expansion strategy last year, criticized for taking business away from small businesses and mom-and-pop retailers. Responding to the public heat, Kakao vowed to create a fund worth 300 billion won to be used to support its partners and self-employed people, including taxi drivers.
Kakao Mobility will invest 37 billion won toward increasing profits for service providers, including taxi drivers and delivery workers, and 8 billion won toward improving their working environment. The remaining 5 billion will be used to support small- and mid-sized companies.
Kakao Mobility is also focusing on expanding its businesses regarding future mobility technologies, such as a self-driving taxi service and urban air mobility service, the company said.
“We will utilize the fund to help the whole mobility industry grow together, and continue to invest in future mobility technologies with the aim of becoming the global frontrunner,” said Kakao Mobility CEO Ryu Gung-seon.
BY SHIN HA-NEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]