A deal, said to be in the works by local media outlets last week, could see the South Korean tech giant acquire a controlling stake worth around $1 billion in Zigzag, a six-year-old start-up.
Zigzag creates personalised shopping experiences with an AI algorithm and hit 750 billion won ($671 million) in transactions last year. Kakao, which operates top messaging platform KakaoTalk alongside e-commerce and gaming services, is yet to confirm the news and is looking at “a range of options,” The Korea Herald reports.
This new development follows last month’s news that Kakao was no longer in the running to buy a controlling stake in eBay Korea. South Korea’s growing appetite for e-commerce is driving growth and consolidation in the wake of Covid-19, with retail and tech giants from Shinsegae and Lotte to Coupang and Naver looking to amp up their services in an increasingly competitive landscape.