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[Newsmaker] Kakao founder pledges to donate half of assets

This undated image, provided by South Korea's top mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp., shows the company's founder, Kim Beom-su. (Kakao Corp.)
This undated image, provided by South Korea's top mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp., shows the company's founder, Kim Beom-su. (Kakao Corp.)
The founder of South Korea's top mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp. said Tuesday that he will donate half of his wealth -- currently estimated to be more than 10 trillion won ($8.9 billion).

"Through this pledge today, we commit to give more than half of our wealth back to society during our lifetime," Kim Beom-su said in a message posted on the website of the Giving Pledge.

Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, is a global campaign by the world's wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back.

Kim's assets are estimated to be over 10 trillion won, including 12.5 million shares of Kakao, valued at over 5.7 trillion won.

Kim earlier made a similar commitment in a message sent to all of Kakao's employees.

"I will engage in efforts to address social issues in the areas that businesses cannot reach," Kim said, adding that he plans "to discover and support 100 innovators who are dedicated to building proactive solutions for social issues through social enterprises and foundations."

Kim is the second South Korean national to join the global campaign, following Kim Bong-jin, CEO of the country's top food delivery app operator, Woowa Brothers Corp.

Kim's assets are expected to reach over 1 trillion won when a $4 billion deal for Germany's Delivery Hero to buy Woowa Brothers -- the operator of delivery app Baedal Minjok, or Baemin -- is completed. (Yonhap)
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