Kakao founder launches charity foundation, 'Brian Impact'

Kakao Chairman Kim Beom-su / Courtesy of Kakao

By Kim Jae-heun

Kakao founder Kim Beom-su has officially launched a private charity foundation called “Brian Impact,” which he had promised to do, after vowing in February to donate over half of his fortune to charitable causes.

Kim received approval from the Ministry of Science and ICT to establish the organization last month and recently completed the process of constituting the five members of the board of directors. The constituents are the chairman himself, Bear Better CEO Kim Jung-ho, Ashoka Korea CEO Lee Hye-yeong, psychiatrist Chung Hye-shin and actor Lee Yoon-mi.

All five members have personal ties to Kim.

Bear Better CEO Kim is one of the founding members of IT giant Naver, who worked with Chairman Kim together in the past at IT companies Samsung SDS and NHN.

Ashoka Korea is where Kim donated a total of 50,000 Kakao shares for education-related purposes.

Psychiatrist Chung worked with Kim on running a public campaign to help improve people’s mental health.

Actor Lee became a friend of Kim through charity events they participated in for long time in the field of children’s welfare.

Brian Impact was founded with the aim of helping talented young people in the field of IT. Kim believes they are the ones to lead the AI sector, which he hopes to use in solving social problems, in the future.

Kim used his English name, Brian, for the title of his charity foundation.

Kim’s fortune is estimated at 10 trillion won ($8.9 billion), based on Kakao’s stock valuation. He has vowed to give away half of it during his life.

The chairman is said to have raised about 500 billion won for the foundation by selling 4.3 million Kakao shares recently.

“I want to run this foundation like a project. Every year, I want to fix the budget that I will spend on yearly projects to reach that goal. That budget will be in the 100 billion won range annually,” Kim said.


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