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[StartupRecipe] South Korean Startup Investment Recovers in Q3

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Oct.9 ~ Oct.13]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 67.4 Billion.

Autonomous A2ZSelf driving34 billionSeries BKorea Development Bank, Hana securities, Hana Ventures
Habit factoryInsure tech6.5 billionShinhan financial
MobiletechDigital twin13 billionSeries BKorea Investment & Securities, Samsung Venture Investment, SJ Investment Partners, We Ventures, Woori Bank, Hyundai Motor Group Zero One, Genie Asset Management
NexusAILegal tech2 billionSeedHana Ventures, Primer Sazze Partners
CodnutEdutech-SeedJB Ventures
WatervationGreenhouse gas device-SeedJB Ventures
KoworkForeigner HR-SeedJB Ventures
GongdoEdutech-SeedJB Ventures
VerybusyDelivery-SeedJB Ventures
PhonebPhone plan service-SeedJB Ventures
WillogControl management solution-Series BNVESTOR, Woori Venture Partners, NauIB Capital, IBK, Wonik Investment Partners, Woori Bank, NBH Capital, Cape Investment & Securities
MotionvalueRobotics management-M&AMyrobotsolution
Elphis Cell therapeuticsBio4 billionSeries ADaegyo Investment, BSK Investment, Pathfinder H, LK Technology Investment, the turning timing
BluelabsUpcycling300 millionSeedNext dream angel club, KUHoldings
OverthehandVirtuber tech-Pre-Series ADS Investment& Securities, CompanyX
WemeetCultured meet-Pre-Series AIBK Capital, CNT Tech, IPS Ventures, D.CAMP
JEJEMEMEKids Platform2 billionSeries AHana Ventures
J&J TECHHealthcare-GrantTIPS

Major Funding

  • Self driving solution company Autonomous A2Z has raised KRW 34 billion in funding. Founded in 2018, the company focuses on unmanned mobility and operates a 12-seater boxcar, an unmanned shuttle, and two unmanned delivery vehicles that can be loaded with more than 300 kg, and can operate at a maximum speed of 60 km unmanned on public roads. Funds will be utilized for overseas expansion.
  • AI-based spatial information service Mobiltech receives KRW 13 billion in investment. Provides 3D spatial information, hardware, and software solutions for smart cities with 3D space scanners that replicate space. The company plans to expand its domestic and international customers and prepare to list on KOSDAQ.
  • Habit Factory receives 6.5 billion won in strategic investment. The company operates insurance comparison and recommendation app SignalPlanner, which uses AI to recommend customized products and consult with agents. Invested in Shinhan Financial to collaborate on customized product development.

#Trend Analysis

South Korean Startup Investment Recovers in Q3

As Q3 draws to a close, the startup investment landscape reveals intriguing patterns. While monthly fundraising figures have seen fluctuations, a quarterly view paints a promising picture with a discernible upward trajectory. Despite an overall dip in investment compared to the previous year, there are signs of a gradual recovery. Q3 witnessed a 32% decline compared to the same period last year, a considerably narrower gap compared to the over 55% downturn observed in Q1-Q2.

Q3 also saw a notable uptick in the size of investments compared to Q2. Noteworthy players include TossBank, securing 285 billion won, Musinsa with 200 billion won, and Korea Credit Data raising 100 billion won.

Moreover, Q3 witnessed over 20 companies successfully attracting investments of 10 billion or more, surpassing the first quarter’s tally. This suggests an uptick in investment quality. While the initial two quarters were characterized by a handful of entities commanding over half of the total investment share, Q3 witnessed a more diversified pool of successful companies securing 50 billion won or more, mitigating the phenomenon of investment concentration.

Should this investment momentum persist into the fourth quarter, it bodes well for the broader investment ecosystem’s recovery. A survey by StartupRecipe last year highlighted a significant number of investors anticipating a resurgence in the investment climate by 2024. However, with total investment raised through the third quarter of this year falling short of the preceding year’s first-half figures, an overall reduction in investment activity is expected compared to last year’s onset of the decline.

Growth-stage startups emerged as the driving force behind the surge in funding during Q3. The number of startups securing Series B and beyond more than doubled, showcasing robust market sentiment. Notably, Series C and higher stages also demonstrated strength, bolstered by an upswing in pre-IPO investments, alongside increased participation in Series D and E rounds.

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