Kakao Mobility Corp., the largest South Korean cab-hailing and parking service app operator announced that it had acquired additional investments. During the latest funding round, the Kakao subsidiary secured a combined 140 billion won ($125.69 million) investment from the private equity firms TPG Capital and The Carlyle Group.
South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) injected $100 million to the TPG consortium, which accumulated $116.8 million for Kakao Mobility. Investment banking industry sources also said that Carlyle provided the remaining $8.2 million capital to the transportation app operator.
Thanks to its shares offering, Kakao Mobility’s present valuation increased to around 3.6 trillion won ($3.2 billion). The two firms’ investments also raised the transportation startup’s total outside funding to 920 billion won ($ 825.96 million). Additionally, Kakao Mobility’s total outside funding marks a South Korean mobility service provider’s highest total investment amount.
Introducing More Services
Kakao Corp., Kakao Mobility’s parent company and South Korea’s top mobile app operator, holds a leading position in the domestic 10-trillion won taxi service market. Kakao also plans to join the 100-trillion won automotive aftermarket industry, which repairs and enhances automobiles after their sales.
To this end, Kakao Mobility would offer car cleaning and other related services. The Kakao unit would also introduce electric vehicle charging platforms to more than 20 million users registered on its app. During 2021’s third quarter, the company would enter the delivery service industry, meeting its TaaS (transportation as a service) goals.
Kakao Mobility would use the proceeds to combine Kakao T and Kakao Navi’s data, creating an extensive mobility data portfolio. Accordingly, this move would solve the information disarray issues in the current mobility service industry. Kakao Mobility would also extend its mobility industry-tailored platform to new sectors, including advertisements, e-commerce, and finance.
Furthermore, Kakao Mobility had reportedly been eyeing domestic stock markets as part of its plan to file for an IPO. Other Kakao affiliates have also been preparing for their respective share listing, including Kakao Entertainment, Kakao Japan, and Kakao Pay.
Kakao Mobility’s Shares Offering
Earlier this year, Carlyle committed 222.4 billion won ($200 million) in Kakao Mobility, raising its valuation to 3.42 trillion won ($3.09 billion). Kakao Mobility also acquired a strategic 56.5 billion won ($50.1 million) funding from Google. Previously in June 2017, TPG invested around 500 billion won ($437 million) in Kakao Mobility to obtain a 30% share. TPG’s investment considerably helped Kakao Mobility meet its overseas expansion goals.
As of the moment, numerous companies split up Kakao Mobility’s ownership. In particular, Kakao holds 60.8%, the TPG consortium with 30.7%, Carlyle with 6.6%, and Google with 1.6%.
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