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[StartupRecipe] Media Startup Funding Plummets to Three-Year Low

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Dec. 11 ~ Dec. 15]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 55.4 Billion.

B&J BIOPHARMAAI Bio-The invention lab
Harpy.chatFandom-SeedMashup Angels
NextheraBio5.5 billionSeries AKB Investments, BNK Venture Investments, Woori Venture Partners, KB Securities, Soliders Investments, Fast Ventures
InterxManufacturing AI Solution-Series A BridgeLS Electric
GbikePersonal mobility11.9 billionSeries CLB Investments, BNK Venture Investments, AP Investment Finance, Eugene Asset Management, Cymachs
HME SquareHealthcare4 billionPre-Series ALB Investment, KB Investment
RealdrawGen AI2.2 billionPre-Series AAltos Ventures, Yoomin Foundation
AinBBio-GrantDeeptech TIPS
MayiOffine space analytics1.5 billionPre-Series ABig Basin Capital, Future Play, E-Land Retail, The Invention Lab
GeniepyAI Community1.3 billionSeedBlue Point Partners, Mashup Angels, Bass Investments, Neosapiens
B-ROBOTICSServing robot3 billionCheetah mobile
Movin3D motion capture-SeedNaver D2SF, Blue Point Partners, Krew Capital
NanuEco packaging-GrantTIPS
alifeCultured meat-GrantTIPS
CoactusMobility-Series AShinhan Asset Management, MYSC, Korea Social Investment
Spring AgainSenior care-SeedSparklab
TeampassBeauty brand solutio-SeedENSL Partners
Urban labsalt protein-GrantTIPS
Viva innovationHealthcare10.5 billionSeries BE&Investment, UTC Investment, Shinhan Venture Investment, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance, MMS Ventures, AI Angel Club
Brave companyContent commerce-Pre-Series AKnet Investment Partners, CNT Tech
M.O.PCeramic10.8 billionSeries BKorea Development Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, SKSPE, KB Securities, KOSMES
Mayi6 billionSeries ASamsung Venture Investment, Evergreen Investment Partners, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Daekyo Investment, Plux Ventures, Industrial Bank of Korea,
gyulmedalHealthy brand-GrantTIPS
zeropointtrailOutdoor activity-GrantTIPS
ARICAService robot-GrantTIPS
Index fingerPart-time Job platform-SeedCNTtech

#Major Funding

  • Gbike, the operator of the personal mobility sharing platform GCOO, has raised KRW 11.9 billion in funding. Launched in 2017, it recorded sales of 52.2 billion won and an operating profit of 8.4 billion won last year. The company plans to utilize the investment to export its self-developed electric kickboard, K2, to the U.S. market and introduce a cloud server system for global integrated services.
  • Viva Innovation received KRW 10.5 billion in investment, bringing the cumulative investment amount to 17.8 billion won. The company operates adoc, a platform that connects hospitals and patients based on health checkup data. Viva Innovation plans to strengthen its B2B health checkup business and expand its health checkup offline (MSO) business with this investment.
  • The ceramic material company M.O.P secured KRW 10.8 billion in investment. Established in 2017, the company produces and supplies customized ceramic materials based on eco-friendly energy material synthesis technology and additive manufacturing technology. Highly recognized for its growth potential in the secondary battery material market and the digital market.

#Trend Analysis

Media Startup Funding Plummets to Three-Year Low

Korean media startups enjoyed meteoric growth in recent years, raking in a record 865.8 billion won in investments last year. The COVID-19 pandemic fueled a surge in digital content consumption, putting related services under a bright spotlight. Additionally, the global K-content phenomenon, driven by OTT platforms, attracted substantial investments to content production startups with their own intellectual property (IP). Webtoon and web novel platforms, primed for global expansion, also witnessed significant funding.

However, 2023 paints a starkly different picture. The media/content startup market is experiencing a downturn steeper than any other sector. According to Startuprecipe data, investment in the sector is expected to fall by one-fifth compared to last year, and without significant late-stage investments, it could be the lowest in three years. Gone are the days of unicorns and $100 billion ventures. Large-scale investments in the metaverse, which fueled last year’s boom, are absent, and domestic OTT platforms, once bolstered by government support, teeter on the brink. Series B and above funding rounds became scarce treasures.

As in previous years, content creators with strong IP and AI companies crafting metaverses and virtual avatars remained the shining stars. AI, in particular, is emerging as a crucial keyword in this space. Investors are eyeing AI solutions that simplify and streamline the content creation process, from AI-powered automated video or webtoon creation to startups developing AI avatars.

Convergence content company Sangwha, for instance, secured 15 billion won for its content production automation solution leveraging AI robotics shooting and editing studios. Pion Corporation, a company specializing in AI automation for advertising video content production, received 10.5 billion won. Driven by the global K-content boom, special effects production companies like Fourth creative Party and content IP startup The Origin also bagged notable investments this year.

Despite the return of offline activities post-pandemic, digital content consumption remains high. With content diversifying across platforms, AI solutions that lower production costs and boost efficiency are likely to receive investor attention, aligning with current market demands.

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