26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Dong-Su Kim, CEO, LG Technology Ventures

Dong-Su Kim helped set up a corporate venture capital (CVC) fund called LG Technology Ventures for South Korea-based electronics, chemical and telecoms conglomerate LG Group in May 2018.

LG Technology Ventures oversees investments for LG Group affiliates – LG Electronics, LG Chem, LG Display and LG Uplus – which raised investment funds totalling ₩430bn ($400m) when it was formed. These LG firms help make investment decisions when the unit identifies strategically relevant startups, especially those with technologies in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and auto components.

Furthermore, LG acquires startups, makes equity investments and hires or collaborates with external industry experts. Most recently, the unit backed rounds raised by cancer and autoimmune disease therapy developer Arcellx, automotive data services platform CerebrumX and real-time aerial video capture technology developer Edgybees.

In addition, data connectivity service LiveRamp acquired cloud data platform DataFleets in February 2021, four months after LG Technology Ventures had backed the latter’s seed round.

The unit’s portfolio also includes AI-equipped manufacturing process monitoring software creator MakinaRocks, cybersecurity software developer Deep Instinct, nano-coating technology developer Forge Nano, augmented-reality video technology developer Eyecandylab and virtual reality development software provider AmazeVR.

Improved manufacturing supply chains were integral to its thinking in the AI space, Kim told Global Corporate Venturing in May last year. He expected LG to generate intelligence from connected household devices, providing consumers with a more seamless service inside and outside of the house.

However, he said the supply chain use-cases were particularly convincing: “I guess the first AI interface that people are familiar with is speech recognition, so we have been working with Amazon and Google to collaborate on that interface and then merge that with our platform in consumer electronics and appliances.

“The other aspect is trying to implement AI in many of our manufacturing processes – so for preventative maintenance and defect inspection and all sorts of different manufacturing processing.

“I think that is a use case where AI is very compelling, and obviously LG has a lot of data that is being generated through our product, offices and factories.

“So, as a CVC unit, that is where we are mostly focused on is finding startups that would like to collaborate in advancing the technology together.”

Others among LG Technology Ventures’ active portfolio companies include mobility software developer Ridecell, speciality chemical provider Lygos, autonomous transport service provider May Mobility, lithium-ion battery manufacturer Optodot and cooking app provider SideChef.

Prior to joining LG, Kim had been US-based vice-president and general manager for South Korea-listed electronics conglomerate Samsung’s corporate venturing arm, Samsung Ventures America, for eight years and a half from late 2009.

Kim led deals for Samsung in more than a score of companies, including data storage technology developer Pure Storage and memory-based IT infrastructure equipment manufacturer Netlist, which were floated on the New York in October 2015 and Nasdaq stock exchanges respectively in November 2006.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.