Kakao Mobility acquires urban car park service operator GSPark24

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : December 9, 2021, 10:37 | Updated : December 9, 2021, 10:37

[Courtesy of Kakao Mobility]

SEOUL -- In an effort to broaden the scope of mobility services based on information communication technology, the mobility service wing of South Korean web service giant Kakao has acquired GSPark24, a major car park service operator with some 400 paid car parks in urban areas.  
 
Kakao Mobility is South Korea's favorite mobility service operator that provides various services such as taxi-hailing, car park reservations, long-distance bus reservations, and train reservations through "Kakao T," an all-in-one smartphone app. Drivers can search for an empty parking space at a nearby car park and receive discounts.
 
The most-used service is "Kakao Taxi," the taxi-hailing service which has more than 10 million monthly active users as of August 2021. In 2019, Kakao Mobility acquired nine taxi companies to have a fleet of some 900 directly-managed taxis and establish infrastructure for information communication technology (ICT)-based taxi services. There are more than 16,000 taxis affiliated with Kakao as of 2021.  
 
Kakao Mobility said in a regulatory filing on December 8 that the company has acquired a 100 percent stake in GSPark24 for 65 billion won ($55 million). "We were able to establish a foundation that will become a testbed for various technologies and related services," Kakao Mobility's chief financial officer Lee Chang-min told reporters, stressing that car parks are starting and endpoints for infrastructure for urban mobility.
 
Kakao Mobility plans to adopt artificial intelligence to its car park service to solve urban problems caused by the lack of parking spaces. AI will predict the space usage inside a car park, guide services for nearby parking spaces and the distribution of traffic. The company would seek to test various services such as electric vehicle charging, car-washing, and repair services using GSPark24's car park spaces.
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