South Korea-based KT agreed to invest KRW30 billion ($22.9 million) in local start-up Rebellions, which is focused on developing AI chips, as the operator moves to strengthen its competitiveness in the sector.

In a translated statement, KT noted the move to support the fabless company is its second strategic investment in an AI start-up, after backing infrastructure company Moreh in 2021.

Rebellions was established in 2020 and designs high-quality custom application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips, KT stated.

The start-up’s CEO Park Sung-hyun stated Rebellions expects the collaboration with KT will become a new growth engine.

“Beyond the localisation of AI semiconductors, we will be able to show that our purely domestic technology is competitive in the global market.”

The operator cited data from Gartner predicting AI semiconductor market revenue will grow from $26.7 billion in 2021 to $117.9 billion in 2030.