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SK Planet Enters US Mobile Commerce Market – Kroll

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SEOUL, KOREA – SK Planet today announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire Shopkick (CEO Cyriac Roeding, www.shopkick.com), a leading mobile commerce company based in Silicon Vallley, U.S.

  • With its proven track record of successfully operating commerce platform in Korea, SK Planet will combine its business capabilities with Shopkick’s partner network to provide mobile-based ‘smart shopping’ and ‘integrated marketing’ services optimized for the US market
  • Drive SK planet’s international leadership forward in the U.S. and bolster its leadership position in the global commerce markets

The acquisition will significantly strengthen SK Planet’s ‘Next Commerce’ business and help SK Planet secure global market leadership. Next Commerce uses mobile to connect the online and offline worlds in the commerce market where the walls between online and offline channels are rapidly dissolving.

Following the launch of its integrated commerce brand ‘Syrup’ and its ‘Next Commerce’ strategy in June, the acquisition of Shopkick will accelerate SK Planet’s plan to build a commerce ecosystem that connects Korea and the U.S.

Shopkick is a mobile commerce company founded in 2009 at Redwood City, California, that utilizes its own technology to bridge the worlds of mobile and physical retail, delivering the ultimate shopping experience to its users.

Shopkick was rated the most-used shopping app in the U.S. in 2012. Based on its innovative business structure and outstanding talent pool, Shopkick has built the Industry’s largest network of partners in just five years after launch.

Shopkick has partnered with retail giants like America’s Largest Department Store Macy’s, Best Buy, Target, and American Eagle, delivering a unique shopping experience to users at more than 12,000 stores; and joined hands with 150 global brands like P&G, Unilever, Coca-Cola, L’Oreal to make shopping experience even better by offering product information and discount coupons.

U.S. market offers a favorable environment for introducing innovative services as it has an advanced ICT infrastructure and high user acceptance of new technology and service. SK Planet explained that along with Korea, U.S. market will be a strategic foothold for furthering its international expansion strategy.

Smartphone penetration in the U.S. has risen to 160 million last year with mobile commerce market valued at KRW 42.97 trillion. Mobile players operating in Silicon Valley and other strategic locations are in fierce competition for market shares in the areas of big data and Internet of Things (IoT), not to mention social commerce, digital coupon, and mobile payment.

The acquisition will bring together best of both companies. SK Planet has the proven track record of successfully operating commerce platform in Korea. SK Planet’s expertise and technology will be combined with Shopkick’s talented global team and partner network to provide Next Commerce services optimized for the US market.

By leveraging the synergies between the two companies, SK Planet aims to secure a leading position in the Korean and U.S. commerce market and become a leader in the global commerce market.

“We took into account of the rapidly changing market and competitive environment as well as the strategic importance of the U.S. market and decided to acquire Shopkick. I’m confident that the acquisition will make us a strong competitor and strengthen our position in the U.S. market,” said Jinwoo So, CEO of SK Planet. “We will leverage our platform business capabilities in OK Cashbag, Syrup, and Gifticon to drive mobile commerce innovation in the U.S. market.”

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