The most popular car-hailing business service in the world might be San Francisco-based Uber technologies, but in South Korea the operator has been outshined by a popular local taxi-hailing smartphone application.
And thanks to the success it had in Seoul beating Uber Technologies, the service provider is now mulling a worldwide development, with the first stop being the popular New York. Daum Kakao Corp., which has been offering its KakaoTaxi app for just two months, is already considering a jump overseas, with New York among the venues in line for the business development, says John Jung, director of business development – though the executive also stresses the final decision is not yet made. Kakao at the moment has at least two million cumulative bookings and has contracts with around a third of the country’s total taxi driver base. “To be honest, even we didn’t expect the market reaction to be this hot,” comments Jun. “We wanted to focus on the basics and there was a lot of communication.” The popularity of KakaoTaxi in South Korea is a rather stark contrast to Uber, the car-hailing smartphone app that led to a flurry of similar operators around the world.
The US-based business provider had to stop one of its services providing booking for private cars back in March as the government considered it illegal and taxi drivers demonstrated on occasions against the company. Jung meanwhile says Kakao was so successful because they collaborated with the government and taxi industry from the get go and also because of its software that can calculate and asses traffic in real time.