[PANGYO ISSUE] Pangyo Technovalley Weekly News, News from the second week of November

-NHN to Launch Cloud Service Corporation Eyes doubling of monthly revenue

NHN announced on the 4th of this month that it will launch an independent corporation of NHN cloud service next year.
The plan was announced at the V10 Live Cloud In-house Meeting where staff of its 20 affiliates participated in virtually. The virtual meeting event was held at the NHN’s Pangyo office, Play Museum.

NHN said its average monthly revenue of cloud service surpassed KRW 10 billion, hoping to more than double that number by the launch.
The company said currently the number of client businesses of its cloud service is 3,400 and 25 or more businesses are joining every month. As of now, the cloud service provides 182 types of solutions which is three times as much as there was in 2018.

NHN is planning to establish data centers at Gwangju, Gimhae, Suncheon and other major cities of South Korea one by one after next year.
Having already begun regional services in Japan, North America and Europe, NHN is working to expand its service to cover Vietnam and Indonesia.

-Wemade Making a “Key Currency” of PC Games

Wemade, a South Korean game maker, which changed public perception on blockchain-based games with its online game Mir4, began to work for securing the status of key-currency in the PC game industry through its game-platform, Wemix. The game maker is planning to distribute SDK, a game-based blockchain software development kit and establish an exchange center where integrated transactions are possible.

By the end of next year, around 100 blockchain-based games will be uploaded to Wemix. Wemade CEO Chang, Hyun-guk said on November 3rd that “the goal of Wemix is becoming a gaming blockchain as well as a key currency of PC games” adding “utility coins will be the only ones that survive out of the numerous coins in the market”.

The South Korean game maker came into prominence in the global market with its Mir4, where NFTs were incorporated. This was because Mir4 was the first large-scale game that generated meaningful outcomes with NFTs whereas most of blockchain-based PC games so far have been of lower quality. The number of gamers of Mir4 right after its launch was over 800 thousand. The figure is on a par with a record that the game maker’s cash cow, Mir2 attained in 2005. Wemade’s stock price hit 190 thousand KRW earlier this month, up from 38 thousand earlier this year.

Blockchain games are different from other PC games. Blockchain based PC games allow users to generate income from them while other types of game don’t. Conventional PC game makers monopolize income from their work by not giving in-game items to users but lending them.

Dark Steel, a currency for enhancing items in Mir4 is the one that is related to NFT. The currency can be changed to Draco, a virtual asset as well as utility coin, for trades on Wemix. The platform plans to add more NFT-related items going forward.

Wemade is to expand a relevant ecosystem by providing developers and game makers with open SDK where game tokens and NFTs can be adopted to their games. Wemade will open Wemix platform game coin and NFT exchange center. All game coins and NFTs will be traded in a single integrated exchange center. It is planned to release 100 PC games on the platform by the end of 2022.

-42dot Raised 104 Billion KRW worth of Investment.

An autonomous driving and mobility technology startup, 42dot announced on November 2nd that it ended its fund-raising program with 104 billion Korean won for its Series A investment round (the first round for institutional investors). It is one of the biggest for a Series A round at home or abroad. The startup has attracted the total of KRW 153 billion so far.

42dot is an aTaaS (or autonomous Transportation-as-a-Service) startup which was established on March 2019 by the former CEO of NAVER LABS and CTO of NAVER, Song Chang-hyun. The aTaaS means adopting self-driving technology to all forms of mobility.

The raised funds are to be used for technology development, expansion of technology investment through M&As or equity investments, the acceleration of business through investments or joint ventures and securing of top human capital.

The startup is planning to advance TAP!, a mobility platform for optimized mobility and AKit, a full-stack self-driving technology that ranges from autonomous-driving AI to an AI acceleration system based on UMOS, or Urban Mobility Operating System.
42dot aims to integrate its self-driving solution AKit to cars of vehicle OEM companies by the fourth quarter of 2023.

-Kakao to Launch “if 2021” Conference

from November 16th to 18th. The South Korea’s mobile life platform Kakao announced on November 1st that it posted the sessions and schedules of “if (kakao) 2021” on its webpage. The conference is scheduled to be held from the 16th to the 18th of November.

The theme of the conference is “a better world where all thrive together”. The conference covers around 120 sessions, which is the largest of its history, addressing various subjects including service, technology, business, partners, ESG and ways of work.

On the first day of the event, November 16th, Kakao’s CPO and CBO will introduce their major services’ current status, strategies and business direction.

The conference will also cover the fellowship research of Kakao Impact, Kakao’s social outreach institution, five ESG sessions, “mm”, Kakao view, Kakao talk wallet, Kakao talk channel, Subscription On and other sessions of non-technology sectors. CEOs of Kakao group’s affiliates, which consist of “Kakao community,” are planning to participate in the event as speakers.

The list of around 90 technology sessions will be released on November 17th. Technology sessions include those of the CTOs of Kakao and Kakao community and sessions on the backend tech, machine learning and AI, cloud, infrastructure and DevOps, blockchain, Android, iOS, frontend, open source and development culture.
Each session doesn’t have a cap of the number of participants,s allowing everyone to join through Kakao’s official webpage or Kakao TV.

Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.

Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom