Kim Beom-su, Chairman of Kakao
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Kakao Founder Kim Beom-Su Becomes South Korea Richest Man with $16 Billion Fortune

25th June | Hong Kong

South Korean billionaire and founder of South Korean internet and technology giant Kakao Kim Beom-Su, has become South Korea’s richest man with around $16 billion fortune, after shares of Kakao rising 95% in 2021 and reaching a market capitalisation of $61 billion (25/6/21).  The next richest South Koreans are Seo Jung-jin ($13 billion – Celltrion, Biopharmaceutical), Lee Jae-yong ($12 billion – Samsung) and Kim Jung-ju ($10 billion – Nexon, Online Gaming).

“ Kakao Founder Kim Beom-Su Becomes South Korea Richest Man with $16 Billion Fortune “

 


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Kim Beom-Su Gives More than Half His Fortune Away

Kim Beom-su, Chairman of Kakao

In March 2021, South Korean billionaire and Chairman of South Korean internet and technology giant Kakao Kim Beom-Su and his wife (Miseon Hyeong) signed The Giving Pledge to donate more than half of their $10 billion assets to society (His fortune is est. at $16 billion in June 2021).

The announcement was made on 16th March 2021 and Kim Beom-Su and Miseon Hyeong, became the 220th pledgers to sign the Giving Pledge.  With their net worth of around $10 billion (March 2021), more than $5 billion of their assets will be given to philanthropy, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.

 

South Korea $1.64 Trillion Economy, 12th Largest 

South Korea is the 12th largest economy in the world, and is also the 4th largest economy in Asia with $1.64 trillion GDP and 51.7 million population.  In Asia-Pacific, only China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia has more than $1 trillion GDP.   

South Korea is home to some of the world’s most recognisable companies including Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, LG Electronics, and Kia Motors.  South Korea’s largest internet and technology companies are Coupang, Kakao and Naver. 

Related:

 

The Giving Pledge – For Billionaires

Bill & Melinda Gates – The Giving Pledge

The Giving Pledge is a global philanthropic movement launched in 2010 by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates along with Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett with a total of 40 billionaires.  The Giving Pledge is a moral commitment by the world’s wealthiest to give the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.

Currently, there are 220 pledgers from 25 countries.

Notable names are:

  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan ($103 billion)
  • Tesla founder Elon Musk ($162 billion)
  • Oracle founder Larry Ellison ($90 billon)
  • Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Joan Branson. ($5 billion)
  • Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman and Michelle Yee ($2 billion)
  • David Rockefeller, deceased 2017 (3.8 billion)

Notable names from finance are:

  • Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio & Barbara Dalio ($20 billion)
  • Blackstone founder Stephen Schwarzman ($23 billion)
  • Carlyle Group founder David Rubeinstein ($4 billion)
  • Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg ($59 billion)
  • Icahn Enterprises founder Carl Icahn ($15 billion)
  • Tudor Investment founder Paul Tudor Jones and Sonia ($7 billion)

(est. current networth)

 

Signers of the Giving Pledge

Signers of the Giving Pledge commit to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.

 

To Join the Giving Pledge

To join the Giving Pledge, billionaires will need to have at least $1 billion in personal net worth and and are ready to make a public pledge to donate the majority of their personal wealth to philanthropy.  Visit: The Giving Pledge

 

The Giving Pledge
“With this pledge as our starting point, my wife and I will engage in efforts to address social issues in the areas that businesses cannot reach. We dream of working together with innovators to make a better world.”
~ Kim Beom-Su and Miseon Hyeong

 


The Pledge (Full Text) – Kim Beom-Su and Miseon Hyeong

 

A young man that once dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur after reading a feature article on Microsoft’s 20th anniversary in 1995, now awaits to join the Giving Pledge. I feel a thrilling excitement as I did then, when I first read the Microsoft article.

We, my wife Miseon Hyeong and I, would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and respect to Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett for providing us with this meaningful opportunity of generous giving, as well as to all those who have taken the pledge before us.

Through this pledge today, we commit to give more than half of our wealth back to society during our lifetime. Of the philanthropic causes that we considered and discussed at length with our son, Sang-bin, and daughter, Ye-bin, we intend to direct our donations to those that may contribute to solving social issues.

Having grown up in poverty, up until my 30s, I regarded “becoming rich” the sole measure of a successful life. However, after having achieved the wealth that I had aimed for, I was left feeling rudderless and lacking direction in life.

I took a leave from work and left Korea to be with my family in the US. These two years were a time of profound self-reflection. I began to contemplate on how “the second act” of my life should unfold and I always questioned myself as to what “living a meaningful life” may entail.

It was around this time that I came across the poem, “What is Success?” attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. The poem gave me a sense of guidance on how I should navigate my pursuits going forward.

“…To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.”

Ten years ago, while I was redefining the meaning of success, I launched a project to foster and support 100 CEOs of startups. Though it involved much trial-and-error during the earlier stages, the project ultimately resulted in the fruition of the Kakao Community and has touched the lives of many Koreans. I trust that the Kakao Community, which not only includes Kakao Corp., but also the numerous startups it has enabled, will play a significant role in realizing the dream for a better world.

With this pledge as our starting point, my wife and I will engage in efforts to address social issues in the areas that businesses cannot reach. We plan to discover and support 100 innovators who are dedicated to building proactive solutions for social issues through social enterprises and foundations. We dream of working together with such innovators to make a better world.

We also aim to explore suitable alternatives to the educational system for future generations. Additionally, we will strive to level the uneven playing field caused by inequalities, while also doing all we can to provide assistance to those who are working to support the people in need.

We truly hope that the path we take will encourage our fellow innovators who are each on their own journeys to change the world.

Lastly, we would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude and deepest affection to our families, who have gladly agreed and lent their support to this pledge.

March 16, 2021
형미선 & 김범수
Miseon Hyeong & Beom-su Kim


 

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About Kakao

Kakao Corporation is a mobile life platform company that provides innovative services in global mobile and internet markets, building on its employees with profound knowledge and experience, technological capabilities, quality contents and highly competitive mobile traffic. Under the corporate vision, “Making a better world with people and technology”, we connect everything in our everyday lives, enabling anyone to experience innovations on a daily basis.

The Kakao Corp. headquarters can be found on Jeju Island with an integrated metropolitan office in Pangyo, where over 2,300 employees in total are working today. Daum Communications, established in 1995, and Kakao, founded in 2006, merged on October 1, 2014 to become Daum Kakao. The name of the company was changed to Kakao on September 23, 2015, and to become a company at the forefront of the mobile era.




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