Daum Kakao Continues to Expand its Mobile Taxi App

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Daum Kakao signed another business agreement with Korea National Joint Conference of Taxi Association on Jan. 21, 2015. This recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two companies is in efforts to recruit more drivers for the newly launched Kakao Taxi app and to further expand its mobile taxi businesses.

Back in December, Daum Kakao signed an MOU with the Seoul Taxi Association and Korea Smart Card to launch Daum Kakao’s Kakao Taxi service. On January 13, Kakao Taxi released the Android app for its drivers.

“Our goal is to provide Kakao Taxi service that is easy to use for all taxi drivers with valid licenses, whether they are familiar with smartphones or mobile apps and make sure drivers are connected to as many passengers as possible,” said Daum Kakao’s project director Joo Hwan Jeong.

Any taxi driver with valid taxi license may apply to become a driver for Kakao Taxi service. After downloading the app through Google Play, drivers must upload their name, photo, taxi license and other key information. Once Daum Kakao approves the application, the drivers receive Kakao Taxi membership.

In efforts to recruit more drivers, Kakao Taxi is currently running a promotion ending in March. The first 50K applicants for the driver’s app will receive mall gift certificates and other prizes, up to $100 in value.

Kakao Taxi’s passenger app is projected to be launched in Q1 of this year, accompanied by an automatic update to the driver app, to receive ride requests and send out cars.

While Daum Kakao is hopeful of its new mobile taxi service, Uber Technology continues to face scrutiny in Korea. In order to remain competitive in the market, Uber Technology recently announced its plans for new services in the Incheon area, which maintains high concentrations of tourists and travelers coming in and out of Incheon National Airport.

On January 19, Uber Technology partnered with Seven Call Taxi, securing about 3,000 registered taxi drivers. Suspicions arise, despite Uber’s newly implied legal status. People worry that this may lead to calls for Uber Black and Uber X, private taxi services, which still remain controversial and illegal in South Korea.

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