S. Korean startup founders promise to donate more than half their wealth
Updated: 2021-02-18 14:43:50 KST
Founder and CEO of Woowa brothers corporation, a local developer of smartphone applications and advertising platforms, Kim Bong-jin on Thursday pledged to donate more than half his assets, or roughly five billion U.S. dollars, through the 'Giving Pledge a charity campaign launched in 2010 by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
It encourages the world's wealthiest to give back by donating at least half of their assets.
Those wishing to participate must have at least 10 billion U.S. dollars worth of assets and Kim is the first South Korean to join.
Most of his wealth comes after launching South Korea's top delivery app, 'Baemin'.
But his beginnings were humble.
In his pledge, he wrote that in high school he had to wait until guests left his family's diner because he didn't have a proper bedroom and that he struggled to pay for art school.
"CEO Kim decided to make this big donation to help with the education gap among other issues that he has always felt strongly about. He also said that he hopes his pledge will kick off a donation culture in our society."
Earlier this month, founder and CEO of Kakao corporation Kim Beom-su also said that he plans to donate more than half of his assets.
His estimated net worth is well over 9 billion U.S. dollars, bringing his donations to some 4.5 billion.
This wave of philanthropy is quite different from the culture of South Korea's old money multi-billionaires also known as "Chaebols."
"Unlike Chaebols, they're not just passing their properties onto their children, securing stakes, and inheriting businesses. They're creating a culture that can improve society as a whole."
This generous act is already making waves within the company.
"As an employee, my heart fills with pride. The company's staff are all really happy to see the CEO taking initiative and we're all really supportive of his decision."