Naver, Mirae Asset establish start-up fund

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Naver, Mirae Asset establish start-up fund

Naver, the country’s top search engine operator, has launched an investment fund worth 100 billion won ($84 million) with Mirae Asset Financial Group as part of an initiative to support the development of future growth engines, the company said Monday.

The fund, in which both companies contributed 50 billion won each, will be used to discover and elevate start-ups that show potential in industries such as artificial intelligence, robots, virtual reality, self-driving cars, health care and smart home devices. Mirae Asset will manage the fund.

The local start-up industry is welcoming the decision, as it is a rare case of a Korean venture fund started by private companies without any financial support from the public sector.

This is the first time Mirae Asset has created such a fund with another company. Mirae Asset Chairman Park Hyeon-joo has promised to invest 10 trillion won in developing future growth engines in the next 10 years.

Incoming Naver CEO Han Seong-sook said last month that the company’s focus would be providing more connected, user-friendly services.

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