Naver’s technology startup accelerator D2 Startup Factory (D2SF) has invested into two startups. In AI and self-driving fields.
Newly invested companies are MORAI (CEO Jeong Ji-won, Hong Joon) which developed self-driving simulators and Genesis Lab (CEO Lee Young-bok) that developed AI-based emotional recognition technology for job interview consulting and self-driving cars.
MORAI is developing simulators that test and enhance self-driving algorithms by establishing virtual environments similar to actual road environments. Because variety of variables such as road surface, topography, weather and others can be tested together, this solution is essential for securing safety of self-driving cars and commercializing them. Most of them are KAIST‘s master’s and doctorate programs, and they have outstanding research skills and practical experience to achieve excellent results in many domestic and international challenge events. Before its establishment, it worked with Naver Labs’ self-driving team as a research center. It is planning to start beta testing of solutions for education and research from end of January and supply simulators to self-driving competitions that will be held in first half.
Genesis Lab has AI technology that analyzes a person’s facial expressions, voice, and gestures to recognize emotions. Using this technology, VIEW-INTER, an interview consulting solution for employment and advancement, has been developed. When interviewers upload practice videos, analysis results and feedback are provided. Samsung Electronics is also developing solutions that are optimized for self-driving field and has worked with Hyundai Mobis at this CES 2019 to demonstrate how it can turn on music or change interior lights depending on driver’s feelings. It is planning to develop infotainment technologies for self-driving cars in the mid to long term.
“The two startups are both startups that combine solid technical skills and marketability in AI and self-driving fields that global technology markets such as CES are paying attention to,”
Yang Sang-hwan, leader of Naver’s D2SF.
Meanwhile, Naver D2SF has invested in 30 technology startups since 2015, and more than half of them are discussing cooperation with Naver and Line.