Kakao is an online messaging company that is popular in South Korea. Kakao is close to signing Morgan Stanley and Samsung Securities as advisers for an initial public offering that could value the company at over $2 billion.
Kakao could raise as much as $1 billion, which would be the largest IPO in South Korea since May 2010, which was around the time that Samsung Life Insurance raised 4.9 trillion Korean won ($4.6 billion).
The online messaging industry is hot right now. Rakuten acquired Viber for $900 million last week and this week Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. Kakao is expected to go public by May of next year.
Kakao will likely list on one of Korea’s stock exchanges and possibly list on a stock exchange in another country. Kakao has around 133 million registered users.