Scroll to top
© 2020, Startuprecipe theme by Rssow

[StartupRecipe] Clubhouse booms in Korean startup scene

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Fab. 1~ Fab. 5]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 39.2 billion.

ARTIQBio/Healthcare3.5 billionKlim Ventures
Sellernotelogistics1.1 billionBon Angels Venture Partners, Bigbasin Capital
MalangHoneyKidsshopping1.5 billionPre-Series AStrong Ventures, Busan University, Yonsei University, chonnam national university
DeepTradeFintech500 millionSeedSpringcamp
EccovMobility-Series AKibo
SoundrepublicaMusic-Series ANew Paradigm Investment
ZiptossReal estate/Proptech-Series BUNION Investment partners
MarppleContent3 billionNAU IB Capital, Sparklab, Lighthouse Combined Investment
AmazingbrewingBEER8 billionSeries BLB Investment, Hana Ventures, Lighthouse Combined Investment
SkiaBio/Healthcare2 billionSeries AIndustrial bank of Korea
AlinkData-Naver D2SF
SevenpointoneBio/Healthcare-Naver D2SF
PrimorisBio/Healthcare3 billionPre-Series ADaily Partners, BNH INVESTMENT, Sneak Peek Investments
ThemamaEcommerce15.1 billionSeries BKosme, POSCO CAPITAL, Industrial bank of Korea, Industrial bank of Korea KB Securities, SB Investment, SB Partners, HB Investment, T Investment
Influentialaudiobook25 billionSeries BUTC Investment
BIGSOLFintech-Pre-Series AKorea Venture Investment
ScreenaMedia-SeedMashup Angels, Postech Holdings, Strong Ventures
Grepp1.5 billionPre-Series ATBT

Major Funding

  • Influential, the operator of the audiobook platform Welaaa, has raised KRW 25 billion won in Series-C investment. With a single investor, UTC Investment, Willa has secured a total of 46 billion in investment. Welaaa audiobook is a monthly subscription-based streaming service that provides high-quality, audiobooks easy and convenient to read anytime and anywhere, and has acquired more than 1.5 million members.
  • TheMamma, a shopping platform featuring local supermarkets, has finalized investment of KRW 15.1 billion. Founded in 2016, TheMamma provides online shopping services and partners with 606 local food supply markets. TheMamma plans to enter the KOSDAQ market next year after expanding its business through the funds raised.
  • Beer manufacturing startup Amazing Brewing Company has raised KRW 8 billion in investment. The company established in 2016 has both offline shops and beer distribution channels. With this investment, they will first expand the brewery in Icheon that was constructed in 2019. Then they will introduce the smart factory system by building a second brewery to automate production and improve quality.

More Funding

  • The creator content commerce platform Marpple Corporation raised an investment of KRW 9 billion last year, followed by an additional KRW 3 billion the next month, securing a total of 12 billion won. The official Marpple Shop hosts 15,000 creative sellers and sells more than 170,000 creator products.
  • Medical artificial intelligence startup Atticu has raised KRW 3.5 billion in investment. The company is developing an automation solution for medical techniques
  • Skia, a medical video AR solution developer, raised 2 billion won in their Series-A round of investment. Founded in 2018, the company implements the location or size of the lesion in AR and provides an AR solution that indicates the location of the lesion in the patient’s body before the procedure.
  • Greb, a startup that runs developer career platform Programmers and online test supervision platform Monito, has raised KRW 1.5 billion in pre-series A investment.
  • SellerNote, which operates the digital import logistics forwarding service ‘SHIPDA’ raised KRW 1.1 billion in investment.
  • Baby product manufacturing startup Malanghani has raised KRW 1.5 billion won worth of investment in Pre-Series A round. Founded in 2018, Malanghani features more than 50 new products through 8 of its own brands.
  • DeepTrade, a stock price prediction signal and personal asset management service startup raised 500 million won in investment.

#Trend Analysis

Clubhouse booms in Korean startup scene

Clubhouse, an audio-based social network platform, is gaining popularity within the Korean startup scene. Clubhouse, the fastest growing platform in Silicon Valley, has already surpassed $1 billion in valuation despite it still being in the beta phase. Famous celebrities-including Silicon Valley’s famous startup CEOs-have been using the app ever since its launch. After Elon Musk opened a room late January, the number of Clubhouse users around the world has rapidly increased leading to the craze landing in Korea.

Just like Silicon Valley, the app’s popularity is exploding in Korea among startups that lead innovation. Because joining as a member is by invite only, there are social media feed every hour of people asking for or offering invitation. Receiving an invitation to Clubhouse is like a status symbol of being part of the startup inner circle.

On the night of the 4th, CEOs of unicorn startups representative of Korea gathered in one room – including Kim Bong-jin, CEO of Woowa Brothers and Lee Seung-gun, CEO of Viva Republica. Each CEO was so enthusiastic to introduce themselves that time ran out. The Woowa Brothers was recently acquired by Delivery Hero at $4 billion, the largest amount so far for a Korean startup, and the financial platform Viva Republica is also a notable unicorn in Korea recognized for being valued at $3 billion.

In addition, professionals working at venture capitals and startup support organizations are also creating rooms to communicate with the startup scene. Politicians are also taking interest in Clubhouse, where the Former Minister of SMEs and Startups, Park Young-sun, has also appeared on the platform.

People in the startup scene who have been longing to network since the pandemic started are using Clubhouse as a communication channel. It is not only easy to access with a smartphone, and during a busy schedule, you can listen to Clubhouse just as you are listening to the radio during commute time.

In addition, the Clubhouse is gaining popularity among startup CEOs because they can ask business related questions to more prominant CEOs, who are difficult to meet normally, and listen in on their insight on running their businesses.

The industry expects the popularity of the app to continue for a while, and if paid services are added on, that it will expand as a channel that goes beyond simple audiochat rooms to a platform of insight being shared from various fields.

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter


Access to the latest Korean startup news and startup database for free

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter