Founder of instant messaging Kakao Corp, Brian Kim or Kim Beom Su recorded an increase in wealth to more than US$ 6 billion this year. He also became the richest person in the K-Pop country.
Based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the total wealth reached US $ 13.4 billion. Brian became the richest person in South Korea and overtook Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee whose net worth reached US$12.1 billion.
Kakao Stocks Boost Kim’s Wealth
Previously, Kakao shares did rise 91% throughout 2021 because there was a corporate action plan in the company, namely the IPO plan for a subsidiary of Kakao Bank.
Reporting from Al Jazeera, Hyundai Motor Securities analyst Co. Hyunyong Kim revealed that market expectations have increased ahead of this corporate action.
“Kakao’s strategy to develop business aggressively makes the market very interested. IPO is the most convincing way,” he was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera, Friday (30/7/2021).
From this IPO plan, KakaoBank Corp. will conduct an IPO next month and target to pocket 2.6 trillion won.
Previously, Kakao Games Corp. had conducted an IPO and raised 384 billion won in funds.
Kakao Rules Domestic Market
Brian Kim founded KakaoTalk in 2010, previously in 2006 he founded Iwilab. KakaoTalk service is used by more than 53 million users globally. As many as 88% are controlled by the domestic market.
Kakao is growing rapidly because it is able to provide services in the fields of payment systems, banking, games and ride hailing. Kaakao market capitalization in South Korea reached US $ 58 billion.
The COVID-19 pandemic that has occurred has also boosted Kakao’s performance. Kakao’s net profit tripled to US$209 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year.
As a successful businessman, Kim did not come from a wealthy family. As a child he had to share a room with seven family members.
Kim is the only member of the family who managed to attend Seoul National University and took up private tutoring to pay for tuition.
He has even signed the Giving Pledge initiative and promised to donate most of his wealth to help solve social problems.
“Growing up in poverty into my 30s I thought being rich was success. But after I got all that, I felt lost,” he explains.