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Slum Born, High School Dropout Turns Billionaire With Start-Up ‘Netmarbles’

Bang Jun-hyuk, founder of Netmarble Games, has become a billionaire with real time net worth of $1.42 billion as accounted by Forbes on Friday

Bang Jun-hyuk, founder of Netmarble Games, has become a billionaire with real time net worth of $1.42 billion as accounted by Forbes on Friday (12 May). Bang, a high school dropout born in a slum, is now among the country’s richest tech entrepreneurs. Bang’s company’s market valuation has surpassed that of LG Electronics with the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in the country in seven years that raised 2.66 trillion won ($2.3 billion) and values the company at about 1 trillion.

The IPO values his 24.5 per cent stake in Netmarble at $2.9 billion. Netmarble has become world’s ninth largest game publisher, according to App Annie, an analytics company.

Netmarble is known for its action-packed role-playing games that have become hits across Asia, the UK and the US. The gaming company also has a huge hit on its hands with Lineage2: Revolution, a mobile game that made more than $176 million in revenues in its first month in South Korea. Netmarble is preparing to launch the game in other markets beyond South Korea. “Those who make simple market comparisons may underestimate the value of our company, but there are also those who view our company as highly valuable because of its competitiveness.

Bang founded the venture in 2000 with just eight employees, then left in 2006 to explore other business ventures. He returned in 2011 to revive it from a series of hardships. The 48-year-old is being compared to Steve Jobs for the way he returned to company and pulled the company out of losses by any market analysts across South Korea.


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