Global investment firm The Carlyle Group, through its Carlyle Asia Partners V fund, has agreed to invest US$200 million in Kakao Mobility, the largest mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform in South Korea. The company was launched in 2015 as a business unit of Kakao Corp, an integrated mobile lifestyle platform company, and spun off in 2017. It now has 28 million registered users.

Headquartered in Pangyo, South Korea, and with more than 500 employees, the company provides a wide range of mobility services through its Kakao T mobile-app platform, including taxi-hailing, designated driver, electric bike hire, parking, and navigation.  It is also developing its autonomous driving technology.

Technology and data analytics, an increase in app usage and ease of payment have significantly transformed the mobility services industry in recent years, and are expected to continue driving the growth of app-based ride-hailing penetration in the country, as well as other mobility services, according to Carlyle.

Kakao Mobility aims to leverage Carlyle’s industry knowledge and global network to expand into new businesses, pursue growth opportunities, and further invest in technology, while continuing to develop an integrated smart mobility platform.

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Source: The Asset