SK Networks said Thursday it has committed a total of $22 million in both direct and indirect investments to secure a 2.6 percent stake in the recent Series C funding round held for Humane, an AI startup founded by ex-Apple employees through the company’s investment subsidiary Hico Capital.
This bold investment decision, which SK Networks has disclosed to its stakeholders following the end of the Series C funding round, rides along the tides of the growing industry-wide interest in AI technology. The SK subsidiary, which has been consistently investing in early-stage companies since 2018, is one of many innovation companies that are rapidly expanding their foothold in AI and seeking partnerships with related businesses.
Humane, spearheaded by Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri -- husband-wife duo and former Apple engineers responsible for designing parts and developing software for Apple’s most popular products -- is working on developing the next generation of innovative devices capable of AI-led personal mobile computing.
SK Networks revealed that it decided to invest in Humane due to its promising potential to make this vision a soon-to-be reality. It also noted that other tech giants such as Qualcomm, Microsoft and OpenAI are amongst those on the sizable investor list, further strengthening the company’s confidence in its decision.
The Series C round raked in a combined $100 million from those investors, which according to Humane, will be used to build an integrated device and cloud services platform for AI.
Regarding SK Networks’ investment, Chaudhri stated, “We will actively communicate with SK Networks and make sure we are sharing the same hopes for what we can bring to the future. We look forward to the prospects of our innovation in South Korea and beyond.”
Earlier in the year, SK Networks had held a briefing session about the current affairs of its early investments at its global annual general meeting in February, reaffirming its commitment to investing in global innovation.