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Krafton Founder Urges Reform to Help Korean Startups Go Global

  • The bulk of Krafton’s sales come from PUBG players abroad
  • Chang Byung-gyu joins a growing list of self-made billionaires
Chang Byung-gyu
Chang Byung-gyuPhotographer: Jean Chung/Bloomberg

For Krafton Inc. founder Chang Byung-gyu, his firm’s debut this week marks a key milestone in the game developer’s 14-year history. It also exemplifies how South Korean startups are increasingly playing a key role in the country’s $1.6 trillion economy, by driving growth both at home and overseas.

The PUBG: Battlegrounds maker raised $3.8 billion in its initial public offering, pulling off the country’s largest debut in over a decade. Despite dropping nearly a fifth since its listing, the $17.4 billion company is one of a growing number of upstarts, which include the likes of Coupang Inc. and Kakao Corp., that are taking on the sprawling family-owned conglomerates that have long dominated Korea’s economy known as chaebols.