In encouraging news for Korean startups, small businesses and creators, Kakao Corp., South Korea’s largest internet company, has announced a five-year funding plan of 300 billion won ($246 million).
At an online press conference, the Kakao Community Alignment Center (CAC) co-heads Kim Seong-su and Hong Eun-taek, and Kakao Nam Goong-hoon, new CEO of Kakao Community Alignment Center (CAC), discussed the direction of global business development to achieve the vision of ‘Beyond Korea’ and a win-win plan for the Kakao community. It plans to utilize a fund worth 300 billion won ($246 million) over five years.
The company announced that Kakao and its major affiliates would be working with small businesses and local partners, digital content creators, performing arts creators, mobility platform workers, startups and social innovators, local communities, and support for the mobile/digital vulnerable so that partners can achieve sustainable growth using digital media.
Project for small businesses
The Shining Merchant Project is a program that supports merchants across the country who run their business through the KakaoTalk channel and conduct mobile marketing. During the first half of the year, Kakao will start the ‘Shining Merchant’ project to help small business owners digitally communicate in a situation where non-face-to-face communication is becoming commonplace due to COVID-19 and digitization is accelerating. Kakao operates a dedicated ‘Digital Supporters’ for operators who are not familiar with digital communication and provides online customized educational content. It plans to provide various support plans, such as supporting the operating costs of the KakaoTalk channel and distributing the ‘KakaoTalk Channel Promotion Kit’ to help promote stores and recruit regulars.
In connection with Kakao Pay, it also supports ‘easy payment for small business owners.’ Kakao will conduct a pilot program for a small number of traditional markets in the first half of the year and expand the project nationwide in cooperation with related organizations and organizations.
Agricultural & fisheries products market expansion
Kakao’s agricultural and fishery products market project will also be expanded and operated, adding strength by connecting agricultural and fishery producers and consumers. This year, it plans to expand the breadth of regions and product groups to help farmers and fishermen in difficulties. Since August 2021, Kakao has been purchasing agricultural products that are in oversupply in large quantities and selling them through Kakao Makers, a joint ordering platform. A total of 651 tons of agricultural products have been purchased so far, which has contributed to stabilizing the prices of farm products by selling out every time a product delivered direct from the farm is introduced.
Kakao fund for creators and entertainment
Kakao’s ‘global original IP platform’ would serve as a bridgehead for artists to enter the global market to expand creators’ profits. Kakao Entertainment will invest at least 10 billion won ($8.2 million) over the next five years to establish the ‘Kakao Entertainment Creation Support Foundation (tentative name)’ so that creator can engage in sustainable creative activities. The foundation plans to provide creative support and various treatment improvement programs such as psychological treatment support for creators that arise in the creative process and legal support for resolving copyright issues.
In addition, it plans to provide creative cultural education through industry-university cooperation to nurture potential creators and support various creative opportunities. To establish a transparent settlement system for the creator ecosystem, Kakao Entertainment will complete the establishment of a system that allows not only CPs but also writers to check the settlement details by the first half of the year and continues to improve methods for expanding writers’ revenue, such as distribution of viewer-end advertising revenue.
Kakao Games plans to expand investment and support for indie and small and medium-sized developers and will strive to support game culture experiences for the digitally underprivileged and nurture talent in the industry.
Kakao to invest in Seoul Arena for performing arts
The field to support digital creators in the performing arts field. Kakao plans to take the lead in fostering performing art experts, operating an academy for the enjoyment of culture and art by residents, and supporting the cultural and artistic infrastructure of youth. Kakao is establishing ‘Seoul Kakao Arena,’ the first and largest public music performance facility in Korea, to support artists’ creative activities and contribute to the K-pop content industry.
Kakao Mobility continues to communicate with stakeholders, contributes to improving profits and treatment of platform workers, upgrading the industry, and ultimately supports the transition to a better life.
Kakao Mobility is currently operating the ‘Co-prosperity Advisory Committee’ and the ‘Mobility Transparency Committee’ as part of its efforts to strengthen social responsibility. Measures such as improving the agent’s variable commission rate are continuing.
Kakao Mobility is seeking ways to revitalize the mobility market by supplying various products and services to meet the demand for a better ride and dispatch experience. The company plans to substantially increase the profits of taxi drivers and contribute to the advancement of the industry. Kakao Mobility will be announcing its ESG management plan soon.Hong Eun-taek, head of the center, said, “Co-prosperity is not a mission that Kakao must pursue, but an essential essence, and a core value that society and companies can achieve mutually sustainable growth. We will do our best to support our partners so that they can achieve real profits.”