Taipei-based startup Gogolook, which owns and operates caller ID app Whoscall, has received an undisclosed sum in investment from Cathay Sustainable Private Equity Fund in return for 30 per cent stake.

This deal comes just over a year after the firm raised NT$345 million (approximately US$ 11.7 million) from “well-known institutional investors active in the technology and internet industries”.

“Whoscall is one of the best locally-developed apps in Taiwan,” said Jeff Chang, Chairman of Cathay PE Company. “Gogolook also owns the big data, which is rare for Taiwanese companies. Coupled with AI technology, they can cooperate with many industries with opportunity to develop various business models. As a pure financial investor, the most important thing for us is to maximise profit. We see strong potential for Gogolook to become a unicorn and enter the capital market through an IPO in Taiwan or abroad.”

Gogolook was founded in 2012 by three alumni of National Tsing Hwa University.

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Whoscall is not just a caller ID app that identifies unknown callers and blocks spam calls for users, but it also offers value-added services to small and micro businesses. The firm claims it can analyse a long history of data with the goal to prevent crimes by simulating call patterns of scammers, with the support of the government as well as telecom companies.

In addition, Whoscall intends to develop Internet of Things (IoT) devices which can be connected to its database of one billion, in order to protect more Whoscall users.

“We will do our best to service more users and provide the best products. We will also strive to develop more business models to achieve our growth targets,” said Jeff Kuo, Co-founder and CEO of Gogolook.

According to the startup, Whoscall users have reached over 70 million globally.

It has built a partnership with 165 Anti-Fraud Hotline of Criminal Investigation Bureau in Taiwan and has signed the MoU with Hong Kong Police Force and Financial Supervisory Service in Korea. Moving forward, Gogolook intends to extend its scope to not only to prevent crimes within the phone communications but also to help lower scam risks in several other areas such as financial services, online transactions, gaming, and social network platforms, which will rely on cooperation with related industries and government.

The company has now expanded its services to Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Brazil, Malaysia, the US, India, and Indonesia, and continues to recruit in Taiwan and globally as it grows internationally with future plans to list publicly.

In 2015, Gogolook acquired Call Defender, an Android app in Hong Kong.