LIVE FROM MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2014: South Korea-based online service provider Kakao is looking to create an ecosystem of one million profit-generating partners by 2015, as it was also revealed the company is set to launch mobile money services.
Speaking in a keynote session, Sirgoo Lee, co-CEO of the company, said: “The smartphone industry is in its infancy, and I believe there are not a lot of companies that are generating revenue, let alone profit. And so it is our goal to build a very healthy ecosystem, and enable our partners to generate profit in the near future.”
The executive noted that the company, which has grown from its origins in messaging to include music, photo sharing, games, and commerce propositions, has already seen success in boosting the business of its partners.
“The smartphone revolution has created new markets and new business opportunities, and in that sense there is more room of cooperation,” he said.
Lee cited the example of game Dragon Flight for Kakao, which has seen revenue of more than $1 million per day – around ten times that of another successful app offered beyond Kakao. There have also been eight games with more than ten million downloads via the service.
Moving onto the company’s planned efforts in the payments space, Lee said that “we are in the process of trying to build a system where you can send and receive money. It seems like a very simple task, but during the past year we have been working with the commercial banks in Korea, in trying to offer this service”.
“Hopefully sometime next month we’ll be able to offer this to our users,” he continued.
On several occasions, the CEO said that the company’s position has been built by not placing revenue generation at the centre of its strategy, and that it has instead focused on offering quality services to consumers.
“If you think about money, and how to make money, you really can’t build a great service. So, instinctively for folks like us, we build a very strong service, and create value for our users which in turn creates traffic”, he said.
“Once you have that traffic, there’s all kinds of ways to monetise. So as long as you have a good service, you really don’t have to worry about how you make money,” Lee continued.