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[StartupRecipe] Digital Healthcare Drives Investment in South Korea’s Healthcare Sector

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Oct.2 ~ Oct.6]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 14.25 Billion.

TEFA RoboticsRoboticsg control solution-GrantDeeptech TIPS
GrayboxCRM Marketing solution-SeedSpring Camp
EverindusEV Battery-SeedGyeongnam CCEI, MYSC
PostmathEdutech500 millionThe invention lab
SoldocDigital healthcare7 billionSeries AWoomi Global, Harang Invest, NH Venture Investment, NH Securities, Posco Technology Investment, SM Culture Partners
Cspace24Convenience store-M&AThemama
StelsiMetaverse construction platform-Nexus one
Revu corporationInfluencer platform-IPOKOSDOQ
MegaworksMental Health-GrantTIPS
PampamLuxury platform-GrantTIPS

Major Funding

  • Digital healthcare solution Coldoc attracts KRW 700 million investment, bringing total funding to KRW 1 billion and a valuation of KRW 4 billion. This investment aims to expand the adoption of the medical staff utilization solution, Soldoc Partners, and strengthen the telemedicine infrastructure for underserved medical populations.
  • TNS secures KRW 375 million investment, focusing on research and development for system enhancement as a digital-based transparent orthodontic dental company.
  • Reset company raises KRW 300 million investment for providing solutions in solar panel cleaning robots and panel resource recycling. They plan to implement a method to increase power generation by 10-20% through automated cleaning robots, and aim to sell 300 cleaning robots in Korea and Japan.
  • Platform advertising agency Revu Corporation goes public on the KOSDAQ. As a specialized global influencer platform, they connect domestic and international businesses with influencers among their 1.1 million registered members.

#Trend Analysis

Digital Healthcare Drives Investment in South Korea’s Healthcare Sector

Investments in South Korea’s bio/healthcare sector have focused on digital healthcare this year, as the industry moves to incorporate IT into medical services. While pharma bio investments have been sluggish, funding for digital healthcare companies has been strong.

According to Startuprecipe data, KRW 418.5 billion was invested in bio/healthcare as of September this year. Of this, digital healthcare companies received nearly 50% of the total. This is significant given that pharma bio has a relatively large investment per company.

Many successful digital healthcare companies in South Korea are collecting patient data and using AI to provide solutions. Startups that support diagnosis, treatment, and prevention through medical devices have been particularly noteworthy. For example, Skylabs, a ring-shaped heart monitoring device, Mediwale, a retinal cardiovascular disease diagnostic device, and Curaum, an oral sensor convergence device, have all received more than 10 billion won in funding.

Personal health management platforms are also getting big funding. NudgeHealthcare, a cashwork operator of a viewing app, and Pillyze, a personalized nutritional supplement, are representative examples. Other areas such as mental health, sleep tech, and senior tech have been performing steadily in early-stage investment, although the amount of funding per company is not large.

Conversely, Telemedicine, which grew rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic and saw significant investment last year, has seen less investment in 2023. Many companies in this sector have shut down or changed their services as the future becomes unclear due to the shift to more diagnosis-centric regulations. There were also fewer mentions of and investments in digital therapeutics, which pharma was investing heavily in.

In the current investment environment, it seems natural that investor attention is focusing on digital healthcare instead of pharmaceutical bio-centric businesses, which are time-consuming and costly. Digital healthcare is attracting investor attention and is expected to grow due to its various advantages, such as providing customized services based on patient data while using AI and data analysis to improve accuracy, reduce diagnosis time, reduce workload, and reduce medical costs.

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