Messenger Giant Kakao Spent $57 Mln on New Tech, Including Blockchain, in Q4 2018

South Korean internet giant and messaging app operator Kakao Corp has published its Q4 2018 report that covers blockchain and AI operating expenses, Korean news website ZDNet reports Thursday, Feb. 14.

According to ZDNet, in Q4 2018 Kakao’s consolidated operating income was 4.3 billion Korean won ($3.8 million). At the same time, the company’s operating expenses related to new businesses, such as blockchain and AI, was 65 billion won ($57.5 million), which reportedly led to a net loss for the whole period.

As cited by local media News1 Korea, executive vice president at Kakao Bae Jae-hyun confirmed that, despite the recent losses, the company will keep investing in new technology.

As per Korean news agency Yonhap, Kakao’s operating income went down 56 percent in 2018 despite record high annual sales. The sales, in turn, rose 23 percent on-year, reaching 2.42 trillion won ($2.1 billion).

As Cointelegraph previously reported, in October 2018 Kakao unveiled the testnet version of its new blockchain platform dubbed Klaytn, which is set to launch in Q1 2019. The platform, which is the brainchild of Kakao subsidiary Ground X, will purportedly focus on decentralized apps (DApps).

In November 2018, Kakao established a subsidiary in Singapore in order to attract foreign investment with cryptocurrencies. It expected to attract about 100 billion won ($88 million) worth of investment from venture capital and institutional investors through Klaytn in December. The following month, the number of Klaytn’s partners reportedly increased from nine to over 30.

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