An introduction from RJ: I graduated from Korea University majored in business administration. I passed CFA level 2 and CTP. I studied more than 10 foreign languages. I’ve worked about 25 years including AI, ICT industries at various companies including industry leading global companies. I’m still working and studying to improve professional experience and knowledge including software engineering and foreign languages. I joined MoneyBrain in 2017 to enjoy the new AI world with brilliant vision of CEO Eric Seyoung Jang which is “AI for Human Life”.
Hi RJ, thanks for joining TIN. Can you give us a brief introduction to MoneyBrain?
MoneyBrain is a game changer for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry. MoneyBrain began in 2016, with intensive R&D into deep learning and machine learning technology. Later in 2016 we launched the first AI ChatBot, in partnership with some financial service companies. In 2017, we entered the K-Global Startup competition, hosted by the Government of Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT, winning the grand prize in the competition.
We continued to develop and test our ChatBot service and expanded to conversational AI. The ChatBot we created included a 3D character models of Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba and Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. As result of these 3D models, we received a global award from Alibaba, the Korean government, and Silicon Valley Innovation Entrepreneurship Forum in the IR pitching competition.
In addition, we established partnerships with a broadcasting company using voice synthesis technology in 2018. MoneyBrain has also been working with Korean Telcos on a multi-media messaging service.
How did MoneyBrain begin as a company? What was the thought process for creating the company?
CEO Eric Seyoung Jang is an AI expert who graduated from Seoul National University. He worked in the AI industry and has previously founded three AI companies, with 2 of them being successful companies. He was inspired at an early age by Bill Gates, and applied to study computer science. His goal was to develop AI that can help and assist humans in their daily lives.
Let’s deep dive on the technology itself. Explain the technology of Deep Learning Imaging Synthesis Technology.
It is best if we use the below to describe the technology:
Many technologies were considered including LongShort Term Memory, Generative Adversarial Networks, 2D face alignment, and Pix2Pix. Through our research, we tried existing known methods first and then tried to experimental technology. We finally found out new technology (new machine learning model using 3D face reconstruction, Semi-casual Convolutional Neural Network, and vid2vid with voice) that improved the quality, efficiency, and other features we were hoping to develop.
What kinds of companies would benefit from this technology and how would they use it?
We have number of applications for our products and services in both B2B and B2C. In terms of B2B business, the AI voice replicator ChatBot can be installed in a smart automotive vehicle. Other B2B services include voice replication for e-books and call centers. For B2C businesses, education and language learning services can be commercialized by our AI services to help with learning English, Chinese, or other languages. In addition to this, our service can also support AI entertainment services with Multi-Channel Networks in several languages.
What are the future long-term plans for MoneyBrain? What kind of growth plans are in store for MoneyBrain?
We have a long-term vision of “AI creates content”. We believe that YouTube and Netflix will have an eventual growth ceiling. For YouTube, the limit is by content creation by the user. Netflix, on the other hand, has a growth limit over costs associated with content creation. MoneyBrain, however, can create unlimited amounts of contents at a lower cost using AI.
What have been some of the key milestones for the company thus far?
Our first financing was series A funding for the amount of 20 billion KRW in 2017. Furthermore, we were awarded three government R&D projects amounting to 20 billion KRW since 2017.
In terms of our finances, MoneyBrain recorded annual revenue amount of 1.5 billion KRW in 2018. In 2019, we received financial support from government fund for the amount of 1.5 billion KRW in 2019.
Our next milestones include 1) further development of our technology, and 2) Launching and monetizing of services.
For the technology development, we have filed patent applications and submitted academic papers around AI and synthesis technologies. Therefore, further technological improvements are in the pipeline.
For service launching, we are in the process of launching an 2nd round of AI ChatBot service (PlayChat) and messaging service (BizChat), Shopping Bot, government voice synthesis, and motor company voice synthesis. For B2C services, AI foreign language services (SpeakNow), AI news, AI entertainment services are in our road map.
When you meet with potential investors, what are the main points you emphasize about MoneyBrain?
Firstly, MoneyBrain has a technology that can have true global reach. We are continuously developing and researching new AI technology. We really emphasize to investors the strength of our services in AI and voice/face replication technology.
For our services, we showcase to investors the AI applications in the ChatBot service (PlayChat), messaging service (BizChat) and some of the other services as we mentioned before (see above).
Another important point I would emphasize is that our team is a truly global team. We have a number of our employees who have worked and studies globally in Korea, USA, China, UK, Hong Kong, France, Spain and many others. This human capital strength for MoneyBrain is solid and would allow us to expand our services into the global market.
Finally, CEO Eric Seyoung Jang of MoneyBrain has had two previous experiences on building strong AI companies for later acquisitions by companies. Therefore, we have a record of success of building strong AI companies. With MoneyBrain, however, we are preparing to list on the stock market sometime in the next 3 years.