SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s No. 1 mobile payment service provider, Kakao Pay, is pushing for an initial public offering during the first half of next year, industry sources said Monday.
To that end, Kakao Pay has recently chosen local brokerage KB Securities as the lead manager and is preparing to win approval from the Financial Supervisory Service.
Kakao Pay is reportedly seeking to list its shares on either the main KOSPI market or the secondary tech-heavy bourse as the company thinks it meets IPO requirements for both bourses.
“Although there may be stock market conditions and other variables, it is true that we are making preparations with the aim of going public in the first half of next year,” a Kakao Pay official said.
Launched in 2014, Kakao Pay is the country’s leading mobile payment service provider with 34 million users, with the amount of payments reaching 29.1 trillion won (US$24.8 billion) in the first half of the year.
The payment tool allows users to request and send money to people in their messenger contacts without bank account numbers.
Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea’s top messenger app KakaoTalk, is the largest shareholder in Kakao Pay, with China’s leading mobile payment platform Alipay owning the second-largest stake of 43.9 percent.
This year, Kakao Pay has broken into the brokerage business and is pushing to establish a digital non-life insurance company.
Kakao Pay is targeting to become the second Kakao subsidiary to go public. Kakao Games, the game developing unit of Kakao, made a high-profile debut on the secondary KOSDAQ market early this month.
Kakaopage, a webtoon and internet social media platform under Kakao, has recently picked an IPO manager, and Kakao Bank, South Korea’s top internet-only lender, has decided to go public.