[PANGYO ISSUE] Pangyo Technovalley Weekly News, News from the third week of October

-Kakao Ventures invests in US proptech company Market Stadium

Market Stadium, a US proptech startup, announced on October 12th that it had attracted a total of one billion won in seed round investment from Kakao Ventures, Shinhan Capital, and Primer Sazze Partners.

Market Stadium is a proptech startup operating a commercial real estate regional analysis platform. It analyzes the real estate market across the United States and classifies future investment areas through urban planning-based knowledge and spatial big data analysis.

By using the data, Market Stadium can predict areas where gentrification will occur. Based on this, it helps users buy at the lowest price and sell at the highest price.

Market Stadium’s main customers will be investors who need to make quick investment decisions or who cannot take time to visit multiple properties in person. The company expects that it will be a useful platform in movement-restricted situations such as COVID-19.

-Smilegate begins development of emotional AI chatbot to add human charm

Smilegate AI Center announced on October 13th that it has signed a business agreement for joint research and development of emotional artificial intelligence avatar chatbots with artificial intelligence startups Humelo and Cleon.
Smilegate AI Center, Humelo, and Cleon are planning to jointly research artificial intelligence that can express various emotions and charm just like humans.
The joint study will begin in full force with the goal of developing a special AI avatar service prototype that contains the unique sensibility and charm of human beings within the year. The company will introduce △Smilegate AI Center’s avatar brain model △Humelo’s avatar voice synthesis technology and △Cleon’s deep human technology, and these will be combined to introduce a special AI avatar chatbot service.
Humelo is a startup with emotion-based personalized speech synthesis technology. It has developed and provided an AI speech synthesis solution on its own and has secured technology that can synthesize high-quality speech even with only two minutes of sample speech. It has established a leading position with the technology that can produce voices that matches human emotions by adjusting rhyme and pitch.

Cleon is a startup that develops deep human with deep learning-based image generation technology. It has a unique technology that can create an avatar with just one frontal photo. The avatar can be optimized by expressing facial features of a specific person more accurately with an adjustment device of 32 parameters.

-Naver invests 11.3 billion won in audio technology startup Gaudio Lab

D2SF, Naver’s startup fostering organization, announced on Oct. 14 that it has invested 11.3 billion won in AI/metaverse audio tech startup Gaudio Lab.

D2SF expects that this investment will strengthen strategic technical cooperation between Naver video platform and Gaudio Lab and accelerate Gaudio Lab’s global growth. Gaudio Lab plans to take this investment as an opportunity to recruit key talent.

Gaudio Lab has developed a technology that provides an immersive audio experience in various content environments including spatial audio technology, the automatic 3D sound technology according to the user’s movement and device characteristics.

Since its launch in 2015, D2SF has been interacting with Gaudio Lab and collaborating with the Naver video platform. D2SF has invested in 78 tech startups to date.

-NHN receives the highest level rating in “Excellent Work Innovation Company”

NHN announced on Oct. 14 that it had received the highest SS rating among 42 excellent work innovation companies selected by the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

Excellent work innovation companies are those that were selected by the Ministry of Employment and Labor on September 16 after undergoing an evaluation for reduced working hours, flexible working hours, annual leave, working methods, and working culture.

Companies with excellent work innovation are divided into three grades, SS, S, and A, depending on the evaluation score. Excellent companies for telecommuting were also selected as companies that introduced a new working method in line with the digital economy after COVID-19.

NHN received the SS rating and was selected as an excellent work innovation company and was also named as an excellent company to promote telecommuting. By being selected as an excellent work innovation company, NHN will enjoy various work innovation incentives such as various government support projects, military service replacement jobs, and loan interest benefits.

NHN has built a smart work environment through its own cloud service NHN Cloud and collaboration platform NHN Dooray! to provide support for telecommuting of employees during COVID-19 times.

NHN employees can freely adjust their working hours through the “Purple Time System,” a flexible working system, and work in a desired space every Wednesday with the “Wednesday Office.” In addition, the developer company NHN Soft (formerly NHN Toast) introduced a “hot desk” system so that employees can work in any space they want in the office building any time they want.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom