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Technology Services

Kakao Corp.

Company Background

Kakao is a leading South Korean information technology company created in October 2014 by a merger between Daum Communications, the operator of the Daum search engine, and Kakao, the provider of the KakaoTalk chat app. It has been adding new services, such as mobile payments, to attract more users in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

Kakao's search engine market share in South Korea has been hovering at some 20%, lagging behind Naver, another Seoul-based company. But KakaoTalk has more than 37 million monthly active users, meaning that over 70% of South Koreans use the instant messaging service -- an outstanding market presence.

Kakao has been adding services, including online shopping, taxi hailing and music streaming, to add more value to KakaoTalk. Currently, advertising and games generate most of its revenue, but earnings from digital content and e-commerce operations are rising.

Kakao is behind WhatsApp, from U.S.-based Facebook; WeChat, from China-based Tencent Holdings; and Line, from Naver; as far as number of users and global scale go. But it is trying to gain Southeast Asian users and recently acquired Path, a U.S.-based social network that has gained a degree of popularity in Indonesia.

Business Summary

Kakao Corp. is engaged in developing portals and other internet information service parameters. The company operates through the following business divisions: Advertising Platform and Contents Platform. Its services include communication, media, content, games, lifestyle, fintech, and search. The company was founded on February 16, 1995 and is headquartered in Jeju-si, South Korea.

Financial Highlights

Dec 2020 KRWUSD
Gross Profit2,148.44B1,820.89M
Operating income453,879.87M384.68M
Income before tax405,579.05M343.74M
Net income155,623.76M131.89M
Diluted EPS367.620.31
Dividends Per Share300.02
Total Assets11,953.97B11,004.29M
Total liabilities4,526.24B4,166.65M
Total equity6,298.92B5,798.50M
Operating cash flow971,096.47M823.04M
Currency in KRWCurrency in USD

Historical Data

 Dec 2016Dec 2017Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 2020
Revenue 1,464.23B 1,972.32B 2,416.99B 3,070.11B 4,156.81B
Gross Profit 260,260.41M 1,086.49B 1,265.22B 795,687.41M 2,148.44B
Operating income 116,135.05M 164,498.78M 69,392.30M 207,134.95M 453,879.87M
Income before tax 110,679.41M 153,297.72M 130,669.86M -214,485.68M 405,579.05M
Net income 57,673.84M 108,596.68M 47,885.55M -301,002.84M 155,623.76M
EBITDA 229,913.75M 294,316.87M 204,421.16M 425,905.79M 715,805.68M
Diluted EPS 170 310.40 122.80 -755.18 367.62
Dividends Per Share 29.60 29.60 25.40 25.40 30
Total Assets 5,484.11B 6,349.42B 7,959.54B 8,737.25B 11,953.97B
Total liabilities 1,781.17B 1,886.50B 2,332.38B 2,997.13B 4,526.24B
Total equity 3,432.51B 4,029.13B 5,136.85B 5,225.35B 6,298.92B
Operating cash flow 321,323.12M 371,927.05M 491,469.88M 752,667.42M 971,096.47M
 Dec 2016Dec 2017Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 2020
Revenue 1,262.06M 1,744.63M 2,196.23M 2,632.61M 3,523.06M
Gross Profit 224.32M 961.06M 1,149.66M 682.29M 1,820.89M
Operating income 100.10M 145.50M 63.05M 177.61M 384.68M
Income before tax 95.39M 135.60M 118.73M -183.92M 343.74M
Net income 49.71M 96.05M 43.51M -258.10M 131.89M
EBITDA 198.16M 260.33M 185.74M 365.21M 606.67M
Diluted EPS 0.14 0.27 0.11 -0.64 0.31
Dividends Per Share 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02
Total Assets 4,540.58M 5,930.99M 7,133.48M 7,555.23M 11,004.29M
Total liabilities 1,474.72M 1,762.18M 2,090.32M 2,591.67M 4,166.65M
Total equity 2,841.95M 3,763.61M 4,603.73M 4,518.44M 5,798.50M
Operating cash flow 276.95M 328.99M 446.58M 645.41M 823.04M

Valuation Measures

Dec 2020
Operating margin10.91%
Profit margin3.74%

Key executives

  • Co-Chief Executive Officer & Director: Su-Yong Jo
  • Co-Chief Executive Officer & Director: Min-Soo Yeo
  • Head-Compliance Support: Tae-Sung Jung


  • KIM BEOM-SOO /KAKAO/ (23.8%)
  • National Pension Service of Korea (7.2%)
  • Maximo Pte Ltd. (5.9%)
  • Kakao Corp. (2.7%)
  • SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (2.4%)
  • The Vanguard Group, Inc. (1.5%)
  • BlackRock Advisors LLC (1.5%)
  • BlackRock Fund Advisors (1.5%)
  • Norges Bank Investment Management (0.8%)
  • BlackRock Advisors (UK) Ltd. (0.6%)

Contact Details

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Last Updated on 25 Jan, 2022

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