Taipei-based startup Gogolook confirmed that it has been acquired by Naver, the Korean Internet giant that is best known outside of Asia for being the owner of Line. Gogolook has not disclosed the acquisition price, but a report yesterday from the Investment Commission of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs said the amount was NT$529 million (or about $17.6 million USD) (h/t Tech In Asia). In an email, Gogolook CEO Jeff Kuo told me:
“After joining the Naver group, Gogolook will be able to accelerate and extend our strategic business deployment in a global scope. With the affiliation of LINE and abundant resources from the parent company worldwide, we cannot wait to show the world the strong innovative capabilities of Taiwan app startups.”
Gogolook’s flagship product is Whoscall, a caller ID app that has 1.2 million monthly active users and over 600 million numbers in its database, according to the company. We profiled Gogolook in June when the company launched the iOS version of Whoscall. Gogolook was officially launched in April 2012, but started three years earlier as a side project by three friends, including founders Kuo, Jackie Cheng and Reiny Song. COO Edgar Chiu, who is taking on an additional position as general manager of Camp Mobile (a Naver-owned mobile-specific company) in Taiwan.
Whocall’s database of numbers was originally gathered from public sources like the Yellow Pages and the Google Place API, but as the app’s user base grew, it began to rely on crowd-sourcing. The company’s database of numbers — including spam callers — might prove handy to Naver as it seeks to build Line’s global footprint and compete against other popular messaging apps like WeChat and WhatsApp.
Gogolook raised about $500,000 in angel funding and its investors included Trinity VC.