MakinaRocks, a South Korean industrial AI solutions provider, announced that it has raised ₩12 billion ($10 million) in a Series A funding round that will finance its global expansion plan.
The latest funding round for the Naver-backed startup was participated by a host of strategic investors, including LG Technology Ventures, Hyundai Motor Company, Applied Ventures, Shinhan Investment Corp., HB Investment, Daesung Private Equity, and Korea Development Bank.
Founded in 2017 by Andre Yoon, Jaehyuk Lee, Sangwoo Shim, and Yongsub Lim, MakinaRocks uses AI technology for the high-tech manufacturing sector. It spun off from SK Telecom’s ICT R&D Center in 2018.
The startup raised $1.5 million in its seed funding round in 2018, with SK Telecom, Hyundai Motor Company, and Naver Corporation as investors.
Headquartered in Seoul and Silicon Valley, MakinaRocks said it helps companies in the semiconductors, steel, and chemicals sectors achieve production efficiencies by turning complex processes into a much easier flow using AI.
The company said it will use the fresh funding to finance its global expansion, discovering business models, and recruiting crucial talent in the fields of data analysis, AI, and product development, among others.
Andre Yoon, the co-founder and CEO of MakinaRocks, has an extensive background in large-scale data analysis and modeling. Upon graduating from MIT with a Ph.D. in Physics, he joined Samsung Electronics in the division of Device Solutions to develop software algorithms for intelligent storage systems.
Prior to joining MakinaRocks, he was a lead data scientist at SK Telecom with a focus on the industrial applications of machine learning.