Hankyung.com: “AI technology to feed the Korean economy… to compete in the global market”

An AI platform company that provides a chatbot, smart kiosk, AICC and other services

Aims to enter KOSDAQ through technology special listing in 2025

SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This is an Interview with Kim Nam-hyun, CEO of Elgen by reporter Ahn Hye-won from Hankyung.com:

“I believe that artificial intelligence (AI) technology is the new food that will feed the Korean economy in the future. Elgen is an AI platform company that integrates and operates technologies ranging from voice recognition to big data analysis.”

Photo: https://img.hankyung.com/pdsdata/pr.hankyung.com/uploads/2023/12/elgen.jpg 

Elgen CEO Kim Nam-hyun (photo), whom we met at the company office in Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul on the 18th, introduced Elgen, an AI startup selected as a ‘Hi Seoul Company,’ an excellent SME certified by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Business Agency.

The company started its business in earnest in 2016, with the delivery of Ddubot civil service chatbot to Daegu Metropolitan City. Since then, it has expanded to smart kiosks and AI contact centers (AICC). AICC is a system that optimizes the entire work of the customer center (call center) with technologies such as voice recognition, voice synthesis, and text analysis. These include the introduction of AI voices for identity verification and the automation of customer service using voice bots and chatbots.

After serving as an information and communications officer in the Marine Corps, CEO Kim retired as a captain in 2001 and has since worked primarily in venture companies and small and medium-sized information technology (IT) companies. He gained experience in a public informatization project while participating in an e-government project, that used information technology to handle administrative affairs in a company, and started his own business in 2014. “There were only a few AI-related companies at the time, and most of them went out of business, leaving us as the only survivor,” he said.

Although most were skeptical about “whether AI technology is commercially viable” at the time of the founding of the company, CEO Kim foresaw the coming of an AI era. He saw the potential in the country’s first civil service chatbot, Ddubot, which was built for Daegu Metropolitan City’s Dudeuriso (Daegu City’s civil service call integration system) in 2016. In March of that year, the match between Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo and Lee Sedol changed the way people view AI technology.

In January 2019, he took the first big step into the smart kiosk market with the installation of smart kiosks at Lotte Cinema. These devices combine voice recognition with natural language processing technology to understand customers’ voices and respond to various orders, from food and beverage such as popcorn to movie reservations. This device accounts for 30% of Elgen’s sales. Last year, the company signed an agreement with Gwangju Metropolitan City and installed 300 units at senior centers in Gwangju, near Songjeong Station, and in the Geumnam underground shopping mall in Buk-gu.

In December last year, the company won a contract from the National Police Agency for ‘Fallbot,’ a cybercrime reporting assistant, and it has also strengthened its chatbot technology. Fallbot is a chatbot system that recognizes the voice of a crime victim, summarizes the details, and creates a report. When a crime is reported, it classifies the type of crime using artificial intelligence technology, allowing police to quickly and conveniently conduct investigations based on the classified data. CEO Kim explained that this could greatly simplify the process of receiving criminal reports online since the launch of the service.

Elgen posted sales of KRW 7.6 billion last year. With only 30 employees, it is not yet a large company, but it aims to grow into a global AI-based company. “We launched AINote in April this year,” CEO Kim said. “This is a voice-based note app that applies ChatGPT to integrate features such as AI interpretation and voice notes, and it supports 196 languages. We have users from all over the world, which means that Elgen has already jumped into the global market.”

Elgen plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in 2025, through the technology special listing system. The technology special listing is a system to support innovative companies to be listed on the KOSDAQ market. Companies with low profitability but high future growth potential can apply for a preliminary listing examination if the innovativeness and business potential of their technology has been recognized. Unlike a general listing, where requirements such as sales, profit, and market capitalization are strictly reviewed, companies with equity of over KRW 1 billion or market capitalization of over KRW 9 billion can apply for listing after a technical evaluation by a specialized institution.

CEO Kim said, “We will capture markets that are difficult for global big tech AI companies to access,” adding, “If the tech giants make B2C transactions between open companies and consumers, Elgen plans to increase profitability through on-premises and private closed artificial intelligence (AI) services aimed at business-to-business (B2B) transactions. We still see this market as a blue ocean.”

SOURCE Hankyung.com

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hankyungcom-ai-technology-to-feed-the-korean-economy-to-compete-in-the-global-market-302023165.html
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