[THE INVESTOR] Kakao T, the taxi-hailing service of Kakao Mobility, will be available in Japan as early as November, according to industry sources on Oct. 5.
The service in tandem with JapanTaxi will allow Kakao T app users hail a cab in the country as the two companies have linked their services. Users of JapanTaxi, with 5.5 million users, can also call a cab in Korea.
Both the firms agreed to cooperate in May and the Korean firm invested 1.5 billion yen (US$13.50 million) in JapanTaxi last month.
They hope to serve the demand of tourists in both countries. Japan saw more than 7 million Korean tourists in 2017, up 40 percent from a year earlier, while 2.3 million Japanese tourists visited here in the same year.
Japan’s growing number of taxi users also spurred Kakao Mobility to make a foray into the country which is gearing up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Ahead of the games, the government has lowered the basic taxi fare to 410 yen from 730 yen.
“In addition to Japan, we also plan to expand our services to Southeast Asian countries, which are popular tourist destinations for Koreans,” an official of Kakao Mobility said.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)