Kakao to create $7.6mn fund to support AI startups

2023.02.27 11:15:02 | 2023.02.27 12:05:02

Kakao Brain‘s AI model, Karlo [Photo provided by B^ DISCOVER]이미지 확대

Kakao Brain‘s AI model, Karlo [Photo provided by B^ DISCOVER]



South Korean platform giant Kakao Corp. is set to create a 10 billion won ($7.6 million) fund by June to establish an ecosystem for startups in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).

Maeil Business Newspaper has learned on Sunday that Kakao Brain Corp., an AI research subsidiary under Kakao, will launch the “Karlo 100X,” or Karlo fund project in the first half of this year. The project was introduced with hopes that more than 100 companies utilize its AI model Karlo for higher value. The project is in line with Kakao’s strategy that focuses on boosting the AI ecosystem for growth.

Karlo is a generative AI technology developed on its own based on Kakao Brain’s very large image generative AI models like minDALL-E and RQ-Transformer.

The Karlo based on open source 1.0 version unveiled in December last year can produce a unique image that reflects various painting styles based on its understanding of a context after learning 180 million pages of text and image data set.

B^ DISCOVER, the country’s first AI image generator application that Kakao Brain started to provide for free from October last year, applies the Karlo 1.0 technology. Kakao Brain will release a paid version of B^ DISCOVER in March. It will also unveil an upgrade version of the application that integrates Karlo 2.0 model.

Kakao has been seeking to expand the scope of applications of Karlo. For example, the company shared plans recently to introduce a new function that uses Karlo to produce contents in the profile photo and background on the KakaoTalk messaging platform.

Hong Eun-taek, chief executive officer of Kakao, recently said that “AI created contents (ACC) will gain competitiveness” and that the company will accelerate actual commercialization of generative AI technology.

Kakao Brain, in the meantime, plans to pick four startups for the new fund by April.

By Ko Min-suh and Han Yubin

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]