The Korea Herald

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SK Networks, US tech tycoon team up for AI investments

By Jo He-rim

Published : Jan. 31, 2024 - 14:41

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SK Networks President and Chief Operating Officer Choi Sung-hwan (left) and Vivek Ranadive, the founder and chairman of Bow Capital, pose at a signing ceremony held in Seoul, Tuesday. SK Networks President and Chief Operating Officer Choi Sung-hwan (left) and Vivek Ranadive, the founder and chairman of Bow Capital, pose at a signing ceremony held in Seoul, Tuesday.

SK Networks said Wednesday that it has forged a partnership with US tech tycoon and investor Vivek Ranadive to cooperate on investments in futuristic technologies with a strategic focus on artificial intelligence.

The nonbinding agreement was signed in Seoul on Thursday upon the visit of Ranadive, founder and managing director of Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Bow Capital. He also owns the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

SK Networks President and Chief Operating Officer Choi Sung-hwan has maintained close ties with Ranadive, which reportedly led to the new partnership.

Under the partnership, when SK Networks creates a consortium for investments, Ranadive and other US investors would join by securing treasury stocks issued by the Korean firm.

“I am excited to partner with SK Networks in launching the SK Networks Renaissance Project, and in finding a transformative acquisition,” Ranadive said, adding that their joint efforts would "contribute to the successful reinvention of SK Networks as a global technology company."

The new partnership comes as SK Networks, an information and communication technology distribution unit under SK Group, is seeking to transform into an AI-focused investment firm via the SK Network Renaissance Project.

SK Networks said it envisions leveraging the new partnership to engage with investors more actively.

"The plan involves divesting shares to influential partners upon confirming future joint investment targets," an SK Networks official said.

"This strategic move aims to cultivate strong collaborations and invest in leading-edge technologies, with a specific focus on AI, operating within a well-established cooperation framework alongside Ranadive, a distinguished figure in the global technology market."