The top 50: David Lee & Brendon Kim, Samsung Next

Samsung Next is an investment fund set up by South Korea-headquartered consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics in 2017.

Led by David Lee, head of Samsung Next, and head of investments Brendon Kim, the unit focuses on investments and mergers and acquisitions in the following areas: blockchain, fintech, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), healthtech and metaverse.

To date, Samsung Next has made more than 180 investments: the most recent of these include participation in the $200m series B round for Aleo, a US-headquartered creator of blockchain application development software, as well as a $45m series B round for Korean fintech company Chai.

Other recent additions to the Samsung Next portfolio include financial inclusion app FloatMe, hardware developer Atomic Form and Ready Player Me, which develops avatars for use in the metaverse.

Lee joined the team in February 2021 after more than five years as a managing partner at Refactor Capital, the venture capital firm he set up in 2016 with former Andreessen Horowitz investor Zal Bilimoria. Lee had previously been a managing partner at Ron Conway’s VC firm, SV Angel.

Lee holds a bachelor of arts in physics and maths from Johns Hopkins University, a master of science in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a JD in law from New York University School of Law.

Kim joined Samsung Next in 2012 having previously worked for Silicon Valley-based Altos Ventures, the firm he co-founded in 1996. He gained his first degree from Princeton University before completing an MBA at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.