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[StartupRecipe] Korean Millennial·Gen Z fall for luxury and reselling brand

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Mar.29 ~ April.2]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 79.7 billion.

Joongonararesell-M&ALotte, EUGENE Asset Management, NH Investment & Securites, Opus Private Equity
Korea Senior LabSilvertech900 millionPre-Series ABon Angels Venture Partners, Spring camp, Fast Ventures
Local StiitchProphtech6.3 billionSeries AUTC Investment, Capstone partners, TIMEFOLIO, D3 jubilee Partners
Team freshLogistics30 billionSeries CNH Capital-DTN Investment, Stick Ventures, Shinhan Capital, KT Investment, Kakao Investment, Nau IB Capital, HARANG INVEST
The PlanteatFood4 billionSeries BLotte Accelerator, Future Play, Shinhan Capital, Yellowdog, Stonebridge ventures
Ssong CompanyContent-SeedLaguna Investment, Kimkisa lab, Macovill
Space RiverSoftware-SeedHite Jinro
Aloha FactoryGame1.4 billionPre-Series AKorea Investment Partners, POSCO Technology Investment, Fast Ventures, Mashup angles, CRIT VENTURES
S bridgeGolf-M&ABungaejangter
TodaypickupDelivery1.2 billionPre-Series ATBT
RingleEducation10 billionSeries AMust asset Management
MondayoffGame2.1 billionKorea Investment Partners, Devsisters Ventures, Play Ventures
HomfitFitness2 billionSeries AID Ventures, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, Strong Ventures
PharmCADDBio/Healthcare17.3 billionSeries B
Quota LabSoftware-SeedYcombinator
WconceptkoreaFashion-M&AShinsegae Group
bejewelJewelry2.5 billionSeries ASoftbank Ventures
ReplaceProphtech-M&AH2O hospitality

Major Funding

  • Team Fresh has finalized Series C investment of KRW 30 billion. Team Fresh, which provides cold-chain comprehensive services such as early morning delivery and fullfilment, is expected to reach a record sales of more than KRW 100 billion this year.
  • Ringle raised KRW 10 billion worth of investment at a KRW 100 billion valuation. Ringle, which provides a 1:1 English conversation platform with a tutor from prestigious universities abroad, aim to become a decacorn company through this investment by expanding to the global market and securing talent.
  • Local Stitch has raised KRW 6.3 billion in Series A investment. Local Stitch, which develops and operates shared offices and residential spaces, will use this investment to strengthen support and collaboration for startups in the creative sector and focus on building an ecosystem of local creators.
  • The PlanIt, which studies plant-based alternatives, raised KRW 4 billion in investment and plans to expand its plant-based alternative product line, research meat alternatives, and advance their technology.

#Trend Analysis

Korean Millennial· Gen Z fall for luxury and reselling brand

E-commerce vertical platform targeting Millennial· Gen Z is popular in the investment market. More specifically, in the fashion, luxury goods, and used good transactions (reselling) sectors, consumers’ purchasing methods have been moving from offline to digital in recent years, and it has grown rapidly, drawing keen attention from investors. They have something in common that they attract large-scale investments several times a year based on their high growth potential. The sector will focus on securing talent and expanding infrastructure with investments while improving services to preempt markets.

First, fashion platform Musinsa raised KRW 130 billion in a new investment round valued at KRW 2.5 trillion, followed by luxury shopping platform Trenb raising KRW 22 billion and limited edition resell platform KREAM raising KRW 20 billion. It has been 2 years since Musinsa raised investment from Sequoia Capital in 2019, valued at KRW 300 billion at that time. Musinsa was able to earn unicorn status in 2019 which no other startup in the field has been able to reach.

Trenb succeeded in Series C investment in less than a year after succeeding in raising KRW 11 billion in July of 2020. Its high-end search engine has surpassed 4.5 million monthly active users (MAU) and KRW 15 billion in monthly transactions. Trenb, which showed the fastest growth among high-end vertical services, will strengthen its overseas expansion and new businesses with this investment.

The resell sector, which is transaction of limited edition used goods, is booming as it has emerged as a new means of financial technology for MZ generation. In particular, luxury goods and limited edition stickers are two axes. In Korea, resell platform KREAM, which has spun-off from Naver’s subsidiary Snow in January, received KRW 20 billion in March, recording KRW 40 billion in accumulated investment. KREAM surpassed KRW 270 billion in accumulated transactions a year after the service was launched, with an average monthly trading growth of 121 percent.

Not only startups but also big corporates are jumping into luxury resell markets. Naver has put in strategic investment in Ballan, a luxury shopping platform, and strengthen its luxury goods category.

Lotte Shopping participated in the acquisition of Choongonara, the oldest used goods trading platform in Korea, strategically investing KWR 30 billion. Department stores also have used trading platforms in their stores. The Hyundai in Yeouido has an offline store of Bungaejangtae, a used goods trading platform, and Galleria Department Store opened a snickers resell brand “Stadium Goods” store in New York. 

Sneakers, streetwear and luxury resells are emerging as a new cultural phenomena, especially in the MZ generation, and the popularity is expected to continue due to the online purchase method accelerated by COVID-19.

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