South Korea-based messaging app provider Kakao announced a plan to raise up to $1 billion internationally to fund M&A activity globally.
The group, a dominant provider of messaging services with its Kakao Talk offering, has undergone a period of expansion in recent years as it looks to tap into artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Kakao struck a deal with car makers Hyundai and Kia in July to implement speech-based recognition technology using its AI platform in automobiles from 2018.
The company said it would raise the capital by issuing global depository receipts (GDRs), which will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The process will complete in February 2018.
Kakao will reportedly use the funds to acquire stakes in gaming, cartoon and music content providers, as well as beef up its AI capabilities. Kakao added it will use the cash injection as a way of preparing for competition with telecoms and technology companies, and will seek to acquire companies with both potential and profitability.
In addition to AI, Kakao expanded into taxi hailing, e-books and music streaming services.