Kakao has carried out a large investment into an electric vehicle charging service provider called Daeyoung Chaevi.
As electric vehicles are becoming a norm, Kakao is looking into strengthening various mobility services using electric vehicle charging infrastructures. It is heard that Kakao is drawing up innovative models in various forms that are connected to various services such as ‘Kakao Navi’ and ‘Kakao Pay’ of Kakao’s subsidiaries.
According to the industry, Kakao Investment has invested $4.30 million (5 billion KRW) in Daeyoung Chaevi and it is also planning to make additional investments.
Kakao Investment is having internal discussions about making additional investments depending on expansion of overseas business. It is estimated that Kakao Investment will easily invest more than $8.59 million (10 billion KRW) in total. However, equity structure based on Kakao Investment’s investment is not made public.
Kakao has been looking into making strategic investments in multiple electric vehicle charger manufacturers and charging service providers in addition to Daeyoung Chaevi since early this year. Daeyoung Chaevi is equipped with abilities to develop and produce fast and slow chargers and is qualified as a national electric vehicle charging service provider. It currently has automotive manufacturers such as Hyundai Motor Company and Porsche as its customers.
It is expected that innovative charging service models that are connected to Kakao Map, Kakao Navi, Kakao Pay, and Kakao Mobility will make their appearances in the future with this investment by Kakao.
Various information service applications and payment systems related to charging infrastructure that are currently on the market are all operated separately. A person has to turn on his or her Smartphone application to see whether a charger can be used and look for a nearby charging station. Afterwards, he or she has to use a credit card or a particular card provided by a charging service provider to pay for using a charger. However, Kakao’s service can solve both of these tasks at once and it also allows much easier connection to points from different types of businesses.

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Because current charging station guide applications do not provide navigation function, they are not able to provide the location of a charger or the condition of a charger while people are driving. Such inconvenience can be easily solved when an application is connected to services of Kakao’s subsidiaries. It is also relatively easy to add electric vehicle as one of options of Kakao Mobility’s car sharing service.
South Korea’s electric vehicle industry is also expecting that a new turning point in the charging infrastructure field will be prepared by Kakao’s investment. Because the charging service market has been centered on small to midsize companies from particular fields, there was almost zero attempt of connection to various social service networks.
“We have decided to invest in Daeyoung Chaevi after we saw potentials of the electric vehicle market and the electric vehicle charging service market.” said a representative for Kakao Investment. “Although we are expecting various commercial synergies with Kakao, no detailed business plan has been finalized.”
The automotive industry is quickly evolving into eco-friendly car, self-driving car, and connected car. Combination of automotive industry and IT industry is a must during this evolution process. It is likely that Kakao will try various automotive services through electric vehicle infrastructures. It is expected that Daeyoung Chaevi will also be able to develop its current electric vehicle charging business further and attempt various new businesses through collaboration with Kakao and Kakao’s investment.
“Various service industries in addition to the automotive industry will develop through combination of automotive industry and IT industry.” said a representative for the industry. “As different types of companies are joining forces over the automotive industry, number of various attempts at grabbing the upper hand of the automotive industry will gradually increase.”
Staff Reporter Park, Taejoon | gaius@etnews.com & Staff Reporter Kim, Siso | siso@etnews.com