SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – Daum Communications acquired smartphone app SeoulBus as a stepping stone to expand its business into local online to offline (O2O) market and reinforce its mobile advertisement business.
Daum, the second largest Internet portal in Korea to be merged with Kakao Inc. next month, announced on September 16 that it took over the legendary app developed by then a high school student five years ago with more than 10 million downloads.
SeoulBus app provides bus and bus stop information including real-time bus arrival and bus route information with the whereabouts of the bus in real time. In addition, it offers nearby bus stops based on the users’ location.
Developed by Yoo Ju-won, now a student of prestigious Yonsei University, the bus location app changed Seoul citizens’ habits in using public transportation with its exact information and became a symbol showing the unlimited possibility of the mobile services. The app blazed the trail for the Korean mobile app development market.
Now, according to Google Play, Korea was picked one of the five countries in terms of Android app developers and Korean mobile apps and games are highly regarded in the world.
With the acquisition of the legendary bus information app, Daum plans to focus on expanding its O2O market, the core business for the forthcoming Daum Kakao. The company is preparing to move into local markets based on its map service, providing offline information such as nearby restaurants, event news, discount coupons, and so on. In that sense, the user location information of the app will help the company build up its business strategy.
In addition, the app is expected to enhance Daum’s ad business. Due to its nature offering bus information, the app enjoys a huge number of daily active users, which can attract more advertisers. Daum which is running “Adam,” a mobile advertisement network, can provide advertisements in the app exclusively.
An official at Daum said, “The acquisition of SeoulBus is to strengthen our local services and Yoo was about to go into liquidation of the app business for his study. We will keep investing into the app for its stable operation. However, we don’t have concrete plan with the app except drawing pictures to maximize the synergy effects with existing Daum’s service.”
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)