New Straits Times: Friendster signs exclusive partnership with Kakao
Friendster signs exclusive partnership with Kakao to promote Kakao mobile platform in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR : Friendster Sdn. Bhd., the world’s pioneer social network and a subsidiary of MOL Global, announced today that it has signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Kakao Corp., South Korea’s mobile platform giant to promote, market and distribute the Kakao mobile platform in Malaysia.
The partnership will cover Kakao’s KakaoTalk and KakaoStory mobile application services including related businesses to these applications which include mobile game channeling, mobile gifting and mobile digital item store.
Friendster shall incorporate a new wholly owned subsidiary, Kakao Malaysia Sdn.Bhd. to undertake the operations of the Kakao platform in Malaysia.
KakaoMalaysia shall be responsible for marketing and promoting the Kakao platform,sourcing local content and game applications for the Kakao platform and procuring advertisers for Kakao’s mobile applications in Malaysia.
KakaoTalk currently has more than 94 million users around the world, making it one of the world’s largest cross-platform mobile group-messaging applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phones, BlackBerry and Bada in the world.
On a daily basis, the popular mobile chat app draws as many as 5.2 billion messages on a daily basis, in a form of free calls, texts, photos, videos, contacts, information and event schedules.
The innovative mobile social platform offers more than a mobile chat application as it covers a wide range of content and services including business marketing, commerce, games, digital content, and fashion.
As of to date, a total of 142 games have been introduced to Kakao’s game platform, accumulating up to more than 268 million users across all its games as of May 2013.
Kakao and ‘for Kakao’ applications currently take up the majority of the top 10 grossing applications on the App Store and Google Play in Korea.
MOL Global’s Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ganesh Kumar Bangah said the partnership marks yet another significant milestone for Friendster as part of MOL Global’s focus this year of expanding into the fast growing smart phone mobile content industry.
Friendster foresees that the partnership has a great potential for growth in the Malaysian mobile content market scene, as the leading ICT market research firm, IDC reported that the local Smartphone market is to be worth around US3 billion in 2016.
“Kakao Malaysia will also ride on MOL’s leadership position in the online games payment market in Malaysia where MOL has an estimated 70% market share. As smart phone penetration increases in Malaysia, mobile gaming will become more prevalent and this will allow online games to reach the masses. This will allow local content developers and intellectual property owners to generate a new revenue source from the Kakao platform” Ganesh said.
Kakao Corp.’s Chief Financial Officer Mr. Dean Song said Malaysia, with it’s explosive growth in smart phone use and penetration, is a country of immense growth potential for the mobile industry.
“We expect to see fast growth for KakaoTalk and services in Malaysia following our strategic partnership with Friendster, the most popular social network service in South East Asia,”
“Kakao has witnessed explosive growth of new markets and opportunities open up when ‘mobile’ and ‘social platform’ were combined with ‘game,’ ‘commerce,’ and other such industries. KakaoTalk, which is shaping the next paradigm of the Korean mobile industry, is increasingly becoming the most noticed mobile service in the globe as it continues to prove the power and influence of its mobile social platform. Leveraging on Kakao’s accumulated know-hows and experience inthe mobile platform business, Kakao will join hands with Friendster to open up new opportunities and possibilities in Malaysia,” Dean added.
The exclusive partnership between Friendster and Kakao Corp. was signed by Mr Ganesh Kumar Bangah, the Group Chief Executive Officer of MOL Global who represented Friendster, and Mr Dean Song, Chief Financial Officer of KakaoCorp., who represented Kakao.
The event was witnessed by the Major Shareholder of MOL Global, Tan Sri Vincent Tan.
To boost KakaoTalk’s promotional campaign, Kakao Malaysia has started airing TV advertisement and commercials starring Korean K-Pop Group BigBang and Malaysian singer and song writer Yunalis Zarai (Yuna).
Kakao believes that by featuring the most favoured K-Pop group such as BigBang and famous Malaysian Singer, Yuna,the mobile messaging apps will appeal greatly to youngsters.
Kakao is also proud to announce that company was topping the chart as the number one free app in the Malaysian App Store.–BERNAMA