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Tech Worker Turns Hobby Into a Startup Nearing Unicorn Status

  • Korean ‘nearby marketplace’ Karrot set to raise funds in 2021
  • That may push valuation to about $1 billion, co-founder says
Gary Kim
Gary KimPhotographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

In his spare time, Gary Kim enjoyed trading used gadgets on an online bulletin board for employees of the South Korean messaging-app operator Kakao Corp.

Then he and a colleague realized it could become a money-making business. In 2015, with cash they got from selling Kakao stock options, they -- and a former Naver Corp. engineer -- launched a venue for selling second-hand goods online that’s now called Karrot.