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[StartupRecipe] Which sectors are growth stage VCs interested in

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Dec. 4 ~ Dec.8]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 172.3 Billion.

PicopackDigital x-ray5 billionSeries AShinhan Ventures Investment, Stick Ventures, Withtech, Yuanta Investments
MoldManufacturing-SeedSeries Ventuers
Printing BoxContent1 billionSeries A2Albatross Investment
Ordinary MagicKids Platform-Pre-Series AStone Bridge Ventures, Smilegate Investments
Reset companyEnergy-Series ABluecorner
AGMOAgritech-Pre-Series AFutureplay, Kyungnong
OkestroCloud software130 billionSeries BStick Investments, IMM Investments, Korea Development Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea
KoreaspacedataProptech4 billionSeries BSmilegate Investments, Hana Ventures
GENAGen AI-SeedMashup angels
The wattMobility-GrantTIPS
PayworkPaycheck management-GrantTIPS
Truck4uTruck platform-SeedY&Archer
HititsoftNocode SaaS-GrantTIPS
Autohub sellcaCar dealing-M&ACarmerce
AscentsportsSports nuturition-Betahausx
LocusContent24 billionIndustrial Bank of Korea, 4th Creative Party, SBI, Crit Ventures, Giant Step, Gaia Ventures. Wysiwyg, Mediacan,Roadstone Private Equity, Michigan Venture Capital
StylemateFashion1 billionSeedAltos Ventures
UNA STELLASpace-GrantScaleup TIPS
TeamwinkFintech-M&AKB Capital
ElroilabAI Solution-GrantTIPS
G2EHealthcare6.2 billionSeries B BridgeHuons, Kolon Investments, Sema Investments, Daily Partners, SoriSB
Seoul Property InsightProptech1.1 billionPre-Series AJinwon group
First MonkeesEdutech-SeedRealwesen
DORGame-SeedBass Investments, The Ventures, Primer, Goodwater Capital

#Major Funding

  • Okestro has secured KRW 130 billion in funding. The company specializes in delivering integrated cloud services, which encompass cloud consulting, cloud-native conversion and design, and cloud platform operation tailored to customer governance.
  • Anime production company Locus raised 24 billion won in funding. Locus is known for producing the 3D animation of Yumi’s Cells and publishing Suzume’s Bunka Bunka, and is planning a full-scale IPO.
  • G2E, a diabetes management platform, has secured a funding of KRW 6.2 billion. Specializing in the production and sale of insulin auto-injectors based on its platform, the company intends to utilize the funding to broaden product awareness and propel advancements in clinical trials.

#Trend Analysis

Which sectors are growth stage VCs interested in

While the beginning of 2023 presented a tough investment climate for growth-stage startups, the second half of the year witnessed a significant surge in both the number and value of deals. Data from Startuprecipe reveals a nearly doubled number of Series B investments in the latter half compared to the first, and a 39% increase in investments exceeding Series B.

Bio/healthcare emerged as the most popular sector for Series B investments, experiencing a substantial rise in funding during the second half. Several large investments were made in healthcare startups, with key players including doBrain, CareMed, Meeju, Medipixel, Neurofit, and CareDoc.

Consumer tech and software also remained active in Series B deals. Within consumer tech, fashion and food investments such as GoohaDa, Eastend, Ignis, and Sweetbio continued to attract interest, while legal tech companies like Lo & Good and Elbox gained recognition for their growth potential. However, only fashion platforms like Musinsa, Kream, and Ably stood out at Series C and above.

The software sector saw promising investments in semiconductor companies like Morae and Supergate, as well as generative AI startups like Organize. However, only a handful of companies secured Series C or higher funding. For startups to attract larger investments at Series B and beyond, demonstrating market demand and potential through profitability, beyond just technological recognition, is crucial.

Looking at the overall investment amounts, bio/healthcare, consumer tech, and software received the most funding, indicating a clear focus from investors. Notably, vehicle/mobility, including Drimaes, SOS Labs, and Pablo Air, garnered the highest average investment per company in Series B, highlighting investor confidence in the growth potential of this sector.

Moving onto Series C and beyond, fintech attracted more investment than bio/healthcare despite a lower number of deals. Series C investments represent growth capital, and at this stage, investors have higher expectations regarding company growth, profitability, and exit opportunities. This trend showcases a strong investor belief in the future of fintech.

While headwinds like rising interest rates and a potential economic downturn are anticipated to continue impacting the startup investment market in the future, excitement remains high for innovative companies and the new markets they create. Therefore, startups with the right technology and market potential will continue to be highly sought after by investors.

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