KakaoTalk Founder Promises to Donate Over Half of His $9.4 Billion Fortune

Kim Beom-su

Kim Beom-su, the billionaire founder of messaging app KakaoTalk, has promised to donate more than half of his wealth to help “solve social issues.”

A generous donation: Kim, who is worth around $9.4 billion, made the promise in a recent message sent to employees, according to AFP via Deccan Herald.

  • “I have pledged to donate more than half of my assets throughout my life to solve social issues,” he wrote.
  • Although details of his donations are still “at the early stage,” Kim plans to make the pledge official to “find and help people that Kakao has difficulty approaching to solve social problems.”
  • Kim’s promise to donate half of his wealth echoes the core element of Giving Pledge, a philanthropic initiative set up by Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
  • KakaoTalk, which is the most popular messaging app in South Korea, has been used more than ever before as social distancing measures and COVID-19 regulations continue to affect millions of South Koreans.

Who is Kim Beom-su: Kim came from a low-income environment, and he was the first in his family of eight to attend university. He paid for his education using money he earned from tutoring, according to Executive Technology.

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  • Kim first worked for Samsung to develop an online communication service, but he left the tech giant after five years to open up an internet café where he developed online casino games.
  • Kim found success in this business and merged with Naver to create NHN, the largest internet company in South Korea.
  • Kim moved to Silicon Valley in 2007 and began developing apps for Apple’s iPhone.
  • Kim founded KakaoTalk in 2010. The app became popular in South Korea, and around three-fourths of the country’s population now use the app for communication.
  • Kim’s company also merged with NHN’s main competitor, Daum Communications, and later bought the U.S. American social networking app Path.
  • Being one of the only South Korean billionaires who did not inherit a fortune, Kim has become a popular speaker in his country.
  • He has made a personal goal to help with the development of 100 tech startups.

Feature Image via acrofan.com (left), Jon Russell (right; CC BY 2.0)

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