TOKYO -- South Korea's Kakao Mobility plans to make a 1.5 billion yen ($13.5 million) investment in JapanTaxi and link their taxi-hailing apps by the end of this year, enabling South Korean tourists to book cabs in Japan.
The mobility unit of internet company Kakao intends to take an estimated 2% to 3% stake in its Japanese partner via a private placement of new shares.
The Kakao T app serves 19 million users in its home market, with cumulative bookings reaching 400 million. The Japanese company's Taxi app has surpassed 5.5 million downloads, giving users access to around 70,000 vehicles nationwide.
JapanTaxi hopes the partnership will capture demand from tourists. South Korean visitors to Japan increased 40% last year to 7.14 million, the Japan National Tourism Organization says. They are the second-largest group of visitors to Japan, trailing those from China.