Kakao Mobility draws pre-IPO capital of $200 mn from Carlyle

2021.02.19 11:57:19 | 2021.02.19 12:21:55

[Photo provided by Kakao Mobility Corp.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Kakao Mobility Corp.]

Kakao Mobility Corp., the mobility unit of South Korea’s chat app giant Kakao Corp., has pulled in $200 million from Carlyle in a pre-IPO funding-raising scheme to enhance new businesses and develop new technologies before it goes public possibly in 2022.

The company announced in a disclosure Thursday that the American private equity fund offered to buy 3,778,713 new shares at 58,205 won ($52.55) apiece. That raises the company’s total number of outstanding shares to 56,511,613 valued at around 3.42 trillion won, the company said.

The proceeds will be used to strengthen new businesses and invest in technology development, according to Kakao Mobility. It said it will work hard to bring forward the era of “smart mobility”, which not just offers opportunities for diverse transportation options but also allows users to address all kinds of mobility demands on one platform.

The last time Kakao Mobility received outside funding was 2017 when it drew 500 billion won from Texas Pacific Group, Korea Investment Partners, and Japan’s Orix.

[Photo provided by Kakao Mobility Corp.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Kakao Mobility Corp.]

The number of users of Kakao T, its cab-hailing service, surpassed 28 million, and its sales increased three-fold in 2020 compared to a year ago.

“Our partnership with Carlyle will enable us to expedite our growth strategy for our smart mobility platform, which aims to create a more comfortable and convenient mobility experience for users,” said Ryu Gung-seon, Kakao Mobility CEO. “As a leading mobility player, we will work with various companies in the mobility industry to build an ecosystem through our Kakao T platform by focusing on the customers and improving service quality.”

“We are excited about our partnership and believe our technology expertise and global network will help accelerate the company’s growth and continue innovation to bring long-term value to the society,” said Kim Jong-yoon, the Korean representative of Carlyle Asia Partners.

Although the fledgling company is yet to make money, it has been approached by multiple capital for pre-IPO funding due to its potential running on Kakao Talk, a chat platform almost all Koreans use daily.

By Pulse

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