Korean stock exchanges fight to draw KaKao as it preps for IPOUpdated: 2014-02-28 AM 3:43:04 (KST)
KaKao Corp. has set its sights on the market.
Known for its popular messaging app KaKaoTalk, the company is preparing for an initial public offering next year in May on one of Korea's stock exchanges.
Korea's tech-heavy KOSDAQ market is already fighting to bring the developer to its stock exchange over the benchmark KOSPI.
According to industry insiders on Thursday the KOSDAQ has set up a task force to draw KaKao Corp.
This comes as KaKao said that it is very close to signing a deal to hire Morgan Stanley and Samsung Securities as advisers for the IPO.
Sources say that after the company goes public, its value could exceed two billion U.S. dollars.
And with strong interest in the mobile-messaging market, insiders say it has the potential to raise between one billion and five billion U.S. dollars.
KaKao Corp. is Korea's dominant messaging platform with KaKaoTalk, which was released in 2010.
With 133 million registered users, it is now one of the fastest-growing mobile-messaging services.
It earned its first annual profit in 2012 with its mobile games.
Although it is facing fierce competition in the mobile-messaging world, KaKaoTalk is one of the most valued Internet brands.
Research firm Brandstock ranked KakaoTalk first, over the popular Korean portal site Naver.
It's the first time in 10 years. that Naver lost the top spot.
KaKao also ranked above the number three, Facebook, Twitter and Daum.
Connie Lee, Arirang News.
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