Kakao Mobility, the South Korea-based mobility as a service (MaaS) startup behind Kakao T, a ridesharing app, says it has raised an additional $ 55 million (65 billion won) from strategic investor GS Retail. That brings its total raised to around $ 941.4 million (1.11 trillion won) and values it at over $ 4.2 billion, a Kakao Mobility spokesperson confirmed.
Monday, South Korea GS Retail announced spending $ 55 million for its 1.3% stake in Kakao Mobility.
The latest fundraising event follows a series of fundraisers that included $ 200 million from the Carlyle Group in February, $ 478 million from Google in March and $ 111 million led by TPG in June. Previous backers also include South Korean companies GS Caltex, GS Energy and LG Corp, the company said.
Kakao Mobility was valued at $ 3.4 billion (4.09 trillion won) most recently as its $ 84.9 million (100 billion won) financing from LG Corp in July, according to the spokesperson. The spokesperson said the company would potentially raise additional rounds of financing ahead of its initial public offering scheduled between 2022 and the first half of 2023.
Kakao Mobility’s sister companies, Kakao Bank and Kakao Pay, were listed in August and November respectively.
The startup will use the new capital to advance its AI-powered mobility platform and fuel the development of autonomous driving technology. Strategic partnership with GS Retail enables Kakao Mobility to enter the logistics and last mile delivery industry using Kakao Mobility’s Transportation Management System (TMS) technology that provides optimal routes for vehicles Delivery. Next year, the two companies also plan to launch a pet taxi service, which allows pet owners to use taxis without putting their pets in cages.
Kakao Mobility, which launched its taxi call service in 2015, spun off from South Korea’s largest messaging app operator Kakao Corp in 2017 to expand into bicycle rental, designated driving business. , parking search and navigation service. Kakao Mobility is also developing autonomous driving technology. In March, she obtained permission from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOTIE) to operate her autonomous driving vehicle, which is in a pilot project, for the next five years, the spokesperson said. of the society.
Kakao Mobility’s carpooling app has more than 30 million registered users, with 230,000 taxi drivers registered on its platform, the spokesperson noted.
According to an industry source, the company achieved sales of $ 237 billion in 2020 and expects to generate a profit in 2022.
“Kakao Mobility is a leading startup in the mobility sector with Big Data and autonomous driving technologies. We plan to provide new [mobility infrastructure] experience to our users through the strategic partnership ”, SungHwa Lee, Head of Enterprise Venture Capital at GS Retail.