The top 50: Dong-Su Kim, CEO, LG Technology Ventures

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

The unit 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.

In the past two years, the unit has raised additional funds to a total of $480m from LG Energy Solution and LG CNS and increased its focus on AI, in particular in terms of the technology’s ability to improve manufacturing supply chains, for example in preventative maintenance and defect inspection.

Among its recent investments, LG Technology Ventures has participated in the $275m pre-IPO round for SES, a manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles, and the $5.4m series A round for eSIM store Airalo. The unit also took a lead role on the $30m series B raise for Duality Technologies, a data collaboration platform.

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, where he worked eight years from 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 and Nasdaq stock exchanges respectively.

He has a bachelor’s degree in applied physics from Caltech and a PhD in electrical engineering from Princeton University.