Kakao Mobility picks up super app startup Splyt, once backed by SoftBank and Grab

News Summary

  • Intense competition on a narrow range of services, however, made for very challenging unit economics, so a lot of these companies focused on folding in more services into those apps to improve loyalty and increase customer spend — and thus the so-called “super app” was born.
  • )It’s not yet clear how Kakao Mobility intends to use Splyt’s tech: using it as a lever to work with a wider network of international partners or using it to extend Kakao Mobility’s own app, Kakao T, which currently has around 32 million registered users.
  • The complexity of integrating different services was a challenge in itself, however, and that was where Splyt stepped in, providing the tech behind the scenes to integrate services and reconcile payments between various parties.That in itself was enough to bring on SoftBank as an investor.
  • Splyt wants to connect the world’s ride-hailing apps for easy international roamingFinancial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but there are some signs that it may not have been a super outcome for this super app enabler.
  • A report last year in Korea Economic Daily notes that Kakao Mobility — which, in addition to ride-hailing also offers parking space searches, navigation, bike rental and has worked on autonomous driving — was valued at $6.5 billion.
  • “Kakao Mobility will continue to scale our product and accelerate further global expansions through Splyt, which has unrivaled global competitiveness in the mobility service platform space.”
Kakao Mobility, the ridehailing subsidiary of South Korean messaging and internet giant Kakao, has made its first acquisition as it looks to raise its international profile. It has acquired Splyt, a [+4637 chars]