Baedal Minjok raised USD 32M from Naver to enhance its food ordering AI technology


Founder: Bong Jin Kim

Founded in: 2011

Financing status: USD 32 million for undisclosed round in 2017

Woowa Bros, service provider of the delivery app, Baedal Minjok, raised major investment amounting to USD 32 million from Naver. It is expected that, through this investment, cooperation between two companies will be improved in the field of future technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and a support system for small business owners. Woowa Bros will focus on securing and strengthening future industry competitiveness, such as artificial intelligence technology and autonomous navigation robot technology. Naver is testing the process of ordering food through AI speakers using the voice recognition function.

Besides its commission-free delivery app, Baedal Minjok, Woowa Bros is also running the premium dining delivery service, Baemin Riders, and side dish delivery service, Baeminchan. In the beginning of this year, Woowa Bros launched its own AI Project called Baemin David, and is being recognized as an industry leader who is actively responding to future technologies.
Naver has invested in both domestic and overseas technology companies, and has acquired the global AI research institute, Xerox Research Center Europe (currently NaverLabs Europe), investing in high-end French sound technology company, Devialet, and is continuously making investments into artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. Naver stated: “Food delivery is an important element and cannot be excluded, in terms of user experience for AI secretary or AI speakers. This is why global IT companies are actively making investments in this area. In order to strengthen Naver’s future industry competitiveness, we decided to invest in the number one food delivery app company, Baedal Minjok”.

Baedal Minjok is also a partner of Naver Clova, which is an AI secretary service. Woowa Bros has already been involved in Naver’s Amica Project since last year, and these two companies have been steadily improving their cooperation in food ordering and delivery. Naver and Woowa Bros are expected to be able to further strengthen cooperation with each other in their efforts to support self-employed and small business owners in the food industry, in addition to securing future technological competitiveness.

Over the past few years, Baedal Minjok has been actively engaged in self-employment support projects, including the Baemin Academy, which provides educational opportunities for CEOs of small food businesses so they can get practical help. Naver has also been carrying out various cooperation programs with startups and small businesses under their open platform strategy.

In particular, Naver and Baedal Minjok have already cooperated together in September this year, for the Naver Partner Square x Baemin Academy for Busan area event, and plan to expand further cooperation starting next year.

The cumulative investment amount of Woowa Bros increased to USD 132 million after Naver’s investment. Woowa Bros has been receiving large scale investments, raising USD 36 million from Goldman Sachs and USD 52 million from the largest investment firm in Asia, Hillhouse Capital.

This article, entitled “Baedal Minjok raised USD 32M from Naver to enhance its food ordering AI technology”, was written in Korean by Yohan Son of Platum, edited by AllTechAsia.

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