Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 313 Brian Kim $7.05B

Random fact: At Kakao, employees call each other by their English nicknames.

Overview

Kim is chairman of KaKao, the largest mobile messaging company in South Korea. The Jeju City-based group has over 52 million users of its Kakao Talk app and revenue of 4.2 trillion won ($3.5 billion) in 2020. Also known as Brian Kim, he developed the app after stepping down from South Korea's biggest internet portal in 2007.

As of :
Last change +$131M ( +1.9%)
YTD change -$2.87B ( -28.9%)
Biggest asset 035720 KS Equity
Country / Region Korea, Republic of
Age 56
Industry Technology
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Brian Kim's net worth of $7.05B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Kim's fortune is derived from his 24% stake in Kakao, an internet and mobile messaging company in South Korea. The company is the biggest mobile messaging company in South Korea and its Kakao Talk app has over 52 million monthly active users globally, according to a February 2021 corporate presentation.

Kim owns the shares directly and through his wholly-owned holding company, K Cube Holdings, according to a September 2021 filing. The sharecounts have been adjusted to reflect the sale of his stocks on April 20. Shares that have been pledged as collateral are excluded from the net worth calculation.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes, market performance and charitable giving.

Hugh Kim, a spokesman for Kakao, declined to comment on Kim's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 3/27/1966
Family: Married, No children
Education: Seoul National University, Seoul National University

Kim was born in 1966. He was the first sibling to attend college, studying industrial engineering at Seoul National University, where he offered private tutoring to help pay his tuition fees.

Playing games like poker and pool led him to create his first business, online game portal Hangame Communications, in 1998. Hangame merged with Naver.com, in 2000. Kim led the combined company, NHN Corp., before stepping down in 2007. Kim, who was living in the U.S. with his family, came back to his home country to develop apps at Iwilab, a venture company he founded in 2006, following the introduction of the iPhone.

The breakthrough for Iwilab came in 2010, when Kakao Talk was created. Four years later, the company merged with South Korea’s second-largest internet portal operator, Daum Communications Corp. He became the largest shareholder of the combined entity.

Milestones
  • 1998 Starts his first company Hangame Communications.
  • 2000 Hangame Communications merges with Naver.com.
  • 2006 Founds Iwilab, Kakao's predecessor.
  • 2007 Steps down from NHN Corp.
  • 2010 Iwilab develops KakaoTalk and changes name to Kakao.
  • 2014 Kakao merges with Daum Communications, South Korea's second-largest portal.