March 19, 2019 13:13
Kim Bong-jin, the founder of food delivery app Baedal Minjok, on Monday donated W2 billion to the Community Chest of Korea (US$1=W1,133).
Kim asked for the donation to be used to help food delivery drivers who suffered motorbike accidents.
Kim donated W5 billion to the same charity in March last year, and later made a further donation of W100 million. The latest gift brings the total to W7.1 billion, which makes him the biggest donor ever. Back in October 2017, Kim announced he will give back W10 billion to the society.
After graduating from the Seoul Institute of the Arts, Kim worked as a web designer and then set up a furniture company, but the business faltered within a year and he was left with a debt of W200 million.
For years, he worked at an IT company during the day and as a part-time web designer at night to pay off the debt. Despite the busy schedule, he then also enrolled in the Graduate School of Design at Kookmin University and developed various apps, one of which was an earlier version of Baedal Minjok.
This caught the eye of an investor, which was beginning of Woowa Brothers, the firm Kim runs now. The company makes W162.6 billion a year from the app alone.
In December last year, a number of investors including the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), put in US$320 million.
"I didn't make this fortune because I was well-educated or special. There are so many aspects of society that I'm very grateful for," Kim said. "I'm simply returning some of the benefits I was able to enjoy to those who are in greater need."
"We are in the delivery business, and many people working as couriers are in financial difficulties," he added. "Some are teenagers, some went bankrupt, and these people have a harder time getting insurance. They mostly use motorcycles for their job, and can get very badly hurt if there is an accident. I'm just thinking about what to do to make things a bit more stable for them."
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