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Kakao Mobility buys stake in Japanese taxi service

Sept 07,2018
Kakao Mobility, a Korean firm that provides ride-hailing and driver-for-hire services, said Thursday that it invested 1.5 billion yen ($13.4 million) for a 3.4 percent stake in Japan’s largest taxi-hailing service, JapanTaxi, to expand its services into overseas markets.

The two firms plan to release roaming services that use each other’s ride-hailing apps in the fourth quarter, Kakao Mobility said.

The services will allow Korean visitors in Japan to use Kakao Mobility’s app Kakao T to hail a JapanTaxi, while Japanese users in Korea can arrange a cab ride to be provided by Kakao T by using the JapanTaxi app.

“We will actively cooperate with JapanTaxi to forge innovation in the taxi-hailing culture in Japan with Kakao Mobility’s technology and know-how,” Jung Joo-hwan, head of Kakao Mobility, said in comments provided by the company.

Japan’s taxi market is one of the world’s largest, with annual revenue of 16 trillion won ($14.2 billion).