SEOUL, March 31 (Korea Bizwire) – KakaoTaxi, which is the currently the most popular online to offline (O2O) service, announced that it had reached 100 million accumulated calls as parent company Kakao Corp. celebrated the service’s first anniversary.
More than 210,000 drivers and 8.6 million passengers are currently signed up as members of the service, and many noticeable records were set throughout the year.
The total number of calls was 97.2 million. The total driving distance of the 97.2 million calls put together was 572 million kilometers. This is the equivalent of circling the earth 12,494 times or travelling between the earth and moon back and forth 651 times.
The passenger who requested the most cabs through KakaoTaxi made 2,093 calls. The driver who accepted the most calls accumulated 4,055 calls over the year. The driver who accepted the most calls within a day accepted 98 calls.
The highest fare recorded was 518,120 won. Assuming that there is no traffic, this amount represents the cost of taking a taxi from Seoul to Geoje Island.
KakaoTaxi is part of the ‘Social Impact’ plan suggested by Kim Bum-soo, the head of the board of directors. The concept suggests that through innovative ideas, a specific field or an entire social system could change.
Through KakaoTaxi, the daily income of drivers has increased (13.4 percent), from an average of 110,894 won to 125,807 won. Assuming that drivers work 20 days per month, this represents an average annual increase of 3.58 million won. Kakao suggests that if the rule is applied to all 210,000 taxi driver members, an economic effect worth 750 billion won would result.
Since KakaoTaxi was launched, the average number of passengers has increased by nine percent per day.
Passengers also benefited from the service. One out of five passengers hailed a cab through KakaoTaxi. Passengers who headed to destinations usually avoided by drivers found it easier to find a taxi willing to bring them to their destination using KakaoTaxi.
Both drivers and passengers answered that they became kinder in the way they treated each other.
In the meantime, Kakao seems to be treading carefully with its plans to transform KakaoTaxi into a paid service. Kakao officials commented that they are in the middle of discussions over changing KakaoTaxi into a paid service, but the details have yet to be determined. They commented that they will seek ways to improve the quality of the service, increase the number of users, and find a reasonable model instead of seeking profits.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)