Kakao plots M&A after $1B funding round

18 JAN 2018

South Korea-based messaging app provider Kakao detailed plans to go on the offensive by pursuing a range of overseas M&A opportunities, following a successful international funding round.

In a statement, the company said it received overwhelming interest from investors and the $1 billion it secured through the move was the “largest for a Korean company in the past ten years.”

Kakao plans to use the investment to fund M&A deals with global content providers, with a particular focus on those delivering mobile gaming, comics, music and video content. The maker of KakaoTalk, which has 50 million monthly active users, will also seek out investment opportunities involving artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, it added.

CSO Sean Park said Kakao “will focus on M&As that can deliver maximum synergy with Kakao’s existing business while offering strong potential for growth and profitability in order to maximise investor return”

The company raised the capital by issuing global depository receipts, which will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange next month. The group underwent a period of expansion in recent years as it looks to tap into AI. In July 2017, for example, it struck a deal with car makers Hyundai and Kia to implement speech-based recognition technology using its AI platform in automobiles.

Kakao first announced plans for the funding round in December 2017 and embarked on a series of roadshows in cities in the US, Hong Kong and Singapore in a bid to drum up support.

 

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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