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Kakao signs partnership with TPG-led consortium

July 01,2017
Kakao inked a strategic partnership with a consortium led by U.S. private equity giant TPG on Friday to set up Kakao Mobility, a spin-off of the Korean company’s mobility business unit.

Under the partnership, TPG consortium will invest 500 billion won ($437 million) in Kakao Mobility, a tentative name given to the spin-off, in return for roughly 30 percent the new company’s shares.

Kakao aims to accelerate growth of its mobility business division, comprising popular apps like KakaoTaxi, KakaoDriver and KakaoNavi. The spin-off decision was made in May and official establishment of the new company will be made in a few days, according to Kakao.

Later in the year, the mobility company plans to introduce a variety of new services, including parking apps. While members of the TPG consortium are not disclosed, the large private equity firm has invested in burgeoning tech companies like Airbnb, Spotify and Uber.

By Kim Jee-hee