South Korea’s mobile app operator Kakao plans to raise funds for its upcoming blockchain platform. The company’s blockchain unit is now seeking partners.
Ground X Corp, the blockchain-oriented subsidiary of South Korea’s leading message-app provider Kakao Corp, is planning a private placement in July as it seeks to raise money to build its blockchain platform. CEO Jason Han revealed that his team is looking for funds and partnerships with consumer-service firms, especially companies that run internet or mobile applications that could be potentially moved to blockchain.
Kakao founded its Ground X division in March in an effort to join the current blockchain trend. The Tokyo-based subsidiary has the goal to develop a blockchain platform that would eventually reach an international level.
According to Han, the startup intends to start a trial this September and launch the platform by the end of this year. The goal is to provide a convenient blockchain solution to those who are not really into programming and the rest of the complex side of the technology.
“The biggest problem with blockchain right now is that there isn’t a single service that an average person would use. Our services are going to be more practical,” he said.
Han expects that Kakao’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) will be more intuitive than Ethereum’s platform, which is the service of choice for many blockchain startups and ICO firms.
“We’re going to create a service that people can use without having to learn the language of crypto,” Han noted.
Since introducing its mobile-messaging application KakaoTalk in 2010, Kakao has reached 50 million monthly users, and its market capitalization has increased to $7.6 billion. The company offers solutions related to social-networking, commerce, and gaming. Even though Kakao has created a blockchain unit, it doesn’t plan to integrate the technology into its existing apps.
Ground X was set up in Tokyo given that Japan’s regulations and approach towards blockchain and cryptocurrencies are lighter than in South Korea. For instance, initial coin offerings (ICO) are not allowed in Korea.