SEOUL, June 30 (Korea Bizwire) – Kakao Corp, the Korean IT giant, is making a foray into agricultural products.
Followed by the recent launches of public transportation apps KakaoBus and KakaoMetro, and KakaoGame S, the company’s mobile publishing business, Kakao revealed Wednesday that it would launch KakaoFarmer Jeju, an online-to-offline (O2O) service for agricultural products.
The service is intended to provide consumers with agricultural products from Jeju Island when they’re ripest.
The launch of the new app comes after Kakao operated a pilot project from November 2015 to January 2016, using a mobile distribution platform for Jeju tangerines, a Jeju specialty. Kakao has since signed business contracts with various farms across the island, and expanded its distribution and sales channels.
Taking into consideration the mobile-friendly consumers in their 20s and 30s, the products will come in 5kg packages (agricultural products are often sold in 10kg packages). Products will be sold via Kakao-related services and functions such as KakaoPay, a mobile payment platform, and the ‘Gift’ function on its flagship messenger, KakaoTalk. As such, no separate application will be released.
“We asked ourselves, ‘Can we trigger innovation in farming using mobile platforms?’, and decided to give it a try,” said a Kakao official. “We actually noticed a significant increase in purchases by consumers aged between 25 and 39 during our trial run.”
The service is expected to launch in August, and will include some 20 agricultural products from Jeju.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)