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SoftBank Ventures, Korea Venture Investment to jointly invest in enhancing Korean AI

According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea,

Seoul-based SoftBank Ventures Asia Corp., a venture capital unit under SoftBank Group Corp specializing the group’s early-stage investing, joined forces with Korea Venture Investment Corp. to groom Korean startups in the artificial intelligence industry, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups said Thursday.

The two companies under cooperation will arrange a fund for investment in AI startups and help them maintain closer ties with investors. SoftBank Ventures Asia focuses on scale-up of promising firms in the area, and Korea Venture Investment fund arrangement and public-private cooperation.

The latest partnership, which was selected as the sixth exemplary case of corporate cooperation by the ministry, came after the successful arrangement of a 320 billion won ($267 million) fund for AI development by the two in July.

“This is a small but significant step toward creating an environment for AI development,” said Park Young-sun, SMEs and startups minister vowing to keep up investment and support for the AI startups and investors to turn Korea into the world-class data, network and AI powerhouse.

On the sidelines of the partnership ceremony Thursday, an AI venture investment conference also was held to help startups share their experience and draw investment.

Eight participants showcased their AI products and technologies including MoneyBrain (AI announcer) and Mathpresso (AI-based solution search platform for mathematics).

Softbank Ventures Asia under Japan-based Softbank Group Corp. was rebranded and expanded from Softbank Ventures Korea this year. With over $1.1 billion under management, it has invested in over 250 companies across 10 countries. ​

By Seo Chan-dong and Lee Ha-yeon

Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (September 26, 2019)

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