November 18, 2018

Kakao invests W4m in self-driving truck startup Mars Auto

PUBLISHED : December 04, 2017 - 15:52

UPDATED : December 04, 2017 - 15:52

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[THE INVESTOR] Kakao’s two affiliates -- Kakao Mobility and K Cube Ventures -- said on Dec. 4 they have recently invested a combined 4 million won (US$368,000) in Seoul-based self-driving software startup Mars Auto.

With the latest investment, Mars Auto said it has completed its seed-funding round for an undisclosed amount.

Mars Auto, founded by Park In-soo this year, develops artificial intelligence-based autonomous software for trucks that is expected to help improve productivity and cost-effectiveness of the freight business. 

“Automation for long-haul vehicles requires a high-level of technology,” said Park Il-soo, Mars Auto CEO. “We will do our best to improve technology for driverless trucks.”

Kakao Mobility, the spun-off entity that operates the ride-hailing app Kakao Taxi, said the latest funding will help the firm prepare for the future self-driving era, adding it will continue to partner with various mobility startups.

“The self-driving industry is a noteworthy platform along with electric vehicles and car-sharing. Also with the development of AI, high quality data collection to develop software is now possible,” said Kim Ki-jun, partner at K Cube Ventures. “We expect Mars Auto technology and business initiatives will highly contribute to the growth of the industry.”

K Cube Ventures a leading early-stage VC in Korea that invests in mobile-focused startups from mobile services to game and deep tech.

By Ahn Sung-mi (

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