According to ET News, Korean internet juggernaut NHN has announced a 100 billion won fund to support small and medium sized businesses following suspicions that the company was damaging the internet ecosystem and unfairly dominating the market. The move is a reaction to accusations of predatory behavior which has lead to an investigation from the nation’s anti-trust watchdog.
CEO of NHN Sang-hun Kim at a press conference on Monday said, “We will build cooperative structures with partner businesses and foster two 50 billion won funds – a ‘venture creation support fund’ and a ‘cultural content fund’. NHN is the company behind Korea’s most popular portal site Naver, and Kim also revealed that the company plans to differentiate search results and advertising more clearly.
NHN has created a ‘Naver co-op consultative group’ with backing from KOVA and MOIBA for practical co-working with companies that have content partnerships. The venture creation support fund will not only fund promising startups and mid-sized businesses, but also provide them with support services covering investment, M&A, and through mentoring. The cultural content fund will help the authors of various digital content meet with their readers.
The company also wants to help Korean startups reach overseas markets through its Naver and Line platforms, as well as introduce an evaluation system to measure the effect of services. CEO Kim says that NHN understood the expectations that people had for Naver and NHN as a leading internet company, and that it would think about its responsibilities and anything overlooked.