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Startups

AI startup Moloco raises near $150 million

Moloco is the first startup founded by a Korean to join the unicorn club among Silicon Valley-based AI startups.

By Aug 19, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Moloco CEO Ahn Ikk-jin
Moloco CEO Ahn Ikk-jin

Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence startup Moloco Inc. has raised around 173.4 billion won ($148.1 million) in a recent funding round led by US-based Tiger Global Management. In the latest round, the startup received a valuation of around 1.7 trillion won. 

Moloco plans to use the proceeds to advance its advertising solutions and to hire additional talents.

"Until now, only major tech companies were able to enjoy the benefits of machine learning technologies, but our goal is to expand our business so that more companies can have access to machine learning technology and make use of customer data to monetize and foster their business," said Ahn Ikk-jin, the chief executive of Moloco.

Earlier in May, Moloco became the first startup founded by a Korean to be named a unicorn among AI startups based in Silicon Valley as its valuation topped $1 billion in the $20 million Series C funding round.

In 2013, former Google engineer Ahn co-founded Moloco with two former Google colleagues. The company provides machine learning-based mobile advertising solutions to global mobile companies. Its core clients include Disney, Nexon and Netmarble.

The company's technology, which analyzes large batches of data, allows clients to generate profit via online ads which are customized based on consumer data. Currently, Moloco executes around 13 billion ads every month.

Since its inception, Moloco has logged over 100% average annual growth rate with its net sales exceeding 100 billion won on a yearly basis. 

Based on Moloco's sales from the first quarter of this year, the company is expected to post $400 million in revenue this year -- more than double the revenue of around 200 billion won in 2020.

Recently the company has been expanding its operations. Its headquarters is based in Silicon Valley, but it has offices in South Korea, Singapore, Japan and UK.

Write to Min-ki Koo at kook@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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