Two leading South Korean tech companies, mobile messaging and service provider Kakao Corp. and Web portal Daum Communications Corp., announced today to merge into a joint corporation, Daum KaKao. The two companies said they wanted to integrate their core capabilities in order to build a global platform.

KaKao operates the most popular mobile messaging app, KaKao Talk, in South Korea. With the first version of KaKao Talk launched in 2010, the company reported $203 million in total revenue in 2013, with $59 million in net profits. It’s revenue sources include revenue shares from third-party mobile games on the platform, emoticon sales, revenue shares from mobile music service KaKao Music and m-commerce platform KaKao Style, among others.

Although it began international expansion as early as in 2011 by establishing a branch in Japan, it would be beat by South Korean Internet giant Naver Corp., the South Korean Google, in Japan with a similar mobile messaging app LINE and the same business model with KaKao Talk. LINE made $338 million in revenue in 2013, 67% higher than KaKao’s in the same year.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com