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Kakao and Ant Financial to enter strategic partnership through Kakao Pay SEOUL and HANGZHOU – February 21, 2017 – Kakao Corp. (“Kakao”) (KOSDAQ:035720), South Korea’s leading mobile platform company best known for its messaging platform Kakao Talk, today announced that Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”), one of the world’s leading digital financial services providers and parent company of Alipay, a global mobile payment platform, will invest $200 million in Kakao Pay Corp. (“Kakao Pay”), Kakao’s soon-to-launch mobile finance subsidiary. The investment is part of a larger strategic partnership agreement, as Ant Financial currently boasts over 450 million users worldwide, and will bring new digital financial innovations to South Korea through Kakao Pay, which serves as the country’s premier mobile finance platform. Kakao’s board decided in January to form a separate entity for its Kakao Pay financial service brand, tentatively named Kakao Pay Corp. Young-Joon Ryu, who currently leads Kakao’s fintech division, will head the new company. Under Ryu’s leadership, the Kakao Pay platform has accumulated more than 14 million members, and the platform evolved from payment transactions to offer innovative and convenient mobile financial services including bill payment, remittance and membership management. Ant Financial will offer its wide range of digital financial services through Kakao Pay in South Korea. The new company will increase the number of online and offline merchants by merging Alipay’s 34,000 merchants into Kakao Pay’s system providing merchants a much larger customer base. Kakao Pay plans to expand its online and offline payment coverage for South Korean users, and in the future, users can enjoy seamless and secured payment experience on e-commerce marketplaces powered by Alibaba Group. Chinese visitors and tourists will continue to enjoy a broader payment experience in South Korea with Alipay, and Kakao Pay users will enjoy more digital financial services provided by the growing global footprint of Ant Financial. Ant Financial provides a wide range of digital financial services to over 450 million users in China and beyond. Through Alipay, users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. The strategic partnership between Kakao Pay and Ant Financial aims to bring comprehensive digital financial services to Kakao’s 48 million plus users, leveraging the strength of Ant Financial in mobile payment, risk control, cloud computing and innovative financial services. “South Korea is an important market for Ant Financial in its global expansion, and we see many opportunities in the market for innovative services and growth in mobile payments. Given Kakao’s leading mobile platform offering and vast customer base, we believe we can bring Ant Financial’s broad experience in digital payments and technology-driven financial services to offer exciting and innovative products to South Korean customers,” said Douglas Feagin, President of Ant Financial International. “The combination of Ant Financial’s global payment platform Alipay and numerous financial and commerce service networks and Kakao’s platform capabilities will result in more effective and convenient financial solutions for both businesses and consumers,” added Young-Joon Ryu, Kakao Pay’s CEO-elect. 2017.02.21
Kakao Reports 4Q and FY 2016 Results -Company surpasses KRW one trillion in revenue for the first time- Fourth quarter revenue totaled KRW 453.8 billion and revenue for FY 2016 neared KRW 1.5 trillion[Seoul, South Korea – February 9, 2017]Kakao Corp. (KOSDAQ 035720, CEO Ji-Hoon Rim) today reported fourth quarter and fiscal year 2016 financial results under Korean-IFRS. Kakao’s consolidated revenue for FY 2016 totaled KRW 1.46 trillion on the strength of impressive growth from gaming and music platforms as the company surpassed KRW one trillion in yearly revenue for the first time. Revenue for fourth quarter was 453.8 billion with operating income of KRW 38.2 billion.With consistent growth across all business platforms, Kakao’s fourth quarter revenue increased 16% QoQ and 87.8% YoY.Continued strong performance from game and music businesses resulted in Content revenue of KRW 221.5 billion, an increase of 11.7% QoQ and 228.7% YoY. Game revenue totaled KRW 93.2 billion, a growth of 18.8% QoQ and 63.4% YoY, as a result of increased revenue from mobile titles such asFriends Popcorn for Kakao,Kung Fu Panda 3 for Kakao, andDestiny Child for Kakao, plus PC game revenue courtesy ofBlack Desert OnlineandEOS (Echo of Soul). Increase in paid subscribers for MelOn streaming service was the main reason for music platform revenue increasing 12.0% QoQ to KRW 106.9 billion. The acquisition of Loen Entertainment, MelOn’s parent company, is reflected in the music platform figures, as revenue increased by KRW 103.6 billion compared to fiscal year 2015.Advertising platforms recorded revenue of KRW 141.5 billion, an increase of 11.5% QoQ and decrease of 7.9% YoY. When excluding the inefficient network ad traffic voluntarily removed by Kakao, revenue shows QoQ increase of 14.5% and YoY increase of 5.9%, respectively.Revenue from the Others category reflects significant growth in various commerce platforms. The November opening of the Kakao Friends Hongdae Flagship Store and Kakao Talk Gift Store’s revenue increase, resulting from year-end seasonal factors, led to KRW 90.8 billion in total Others revenue. The figure reflects an increase of 37.4% QoQ and 337.9% YoY.Marketing activities for various services, including Kakao Driver, led to an increase in advertising expenses, and increase in commission expenses for commerce platforms contributed to total operating cost of KRW 415.7 billion.Kakao’s operating income for the fourth quarter was KRW 38.2 billion, representing a QoQ growth of 26.1% and YoY growth of 85.1%. Net income for the fourth quarter was KRW 29.4 billion.With the company surpassing KRW one trillion in yearly revenue, Kakao plans to take the next step of evolving the Kakao Talk platform while concentrating on R&D for artificial intelligence technology. Kakao Talk will go beyond a communication app and fully expand to deliver content, commerce and more. The first half of 2017 will see the launch of a revamped Plus Friend service that will offer Kakao Talk users a number of new functions including delivery, reservations, shopping and more. Partners will soon be able to deliver diverse, high-quality content with the new Kakao Talk Plus Friend. In the near future, Kakao Talk will serve as a all-in-one personal assistant that provides users with what they need, when then need it.Kakao Brain, Kakao’s AI subsidiary, will be the source of Kakao’s future growth. Launched Feb. 1st, 2017, the company has KRW 20 billion allocated for AI R&D and investments. Kakao’s Chairman Beom-su Kim will personally head Kakao Brain with the goal of reaching new heights in AI innovation.<End> 2017.02.09

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