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[StartupRecipe] 3 Korean Startups Active in the Global Market

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Mar. 5~ April.9]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 376.4 billion.

Entcrowdentertainment200 millionCentral motech, Angels
Vegistacleaning3 billionSeries ANau IB Capital, Nonghyup Bank, Donghoon Investment
Olive UnionSmart hearing20 billionBeyond Next Ventures, Bonds Investment Groups and Japan Policy Finance Corporation,
HyliumEnergy-SeedSopoong Ventures, Gangwon ccei
NeogentcBio/Healthcare15 billionSeries ADSC Investment, Quad Ventures, TS Investment, Log Investment, Seoul Investment Partners, TIGRIS investment, Cosine Investment, Tcha Partners Asset Management
SendbirdSaaS111.6 billionSeries CSteadfast Venture Capital, Emergence Capital, the SoftBank Vision Fund, World Innovation Lab
RecoWaste treatment3.5 billionSeries ADSC Investment, SparkLabs, Hanwha Investment & Securities, D3 Jubilee partners
TactileAIBeauty-SeedSpring Camp
ProxiHealthcareBio/Healthcare1 billionPre-Series ALotte Accelerator, Future Play, AI angel club
SecondInterior11 billionSeries BStonebridge Ventures, LB Investment, SV Investment
HimnandaFood-SeedStrong Ventures
Iyuno-SDI GroupMEDIA180 billionSoftBank Vision Fund2
MVLABSMobility18 billionSeries BCENTRAL, TRIVE
AMAZE VRVR106 billionMurex partners, We ventures, Bass Investment, Dunamoo& Partners, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Partners Investment, Timewise Investment
CarillonLegal tech-SeedDSC Investment
WeebutHealthcare-SeedKlim Ventures
JeCLEANLaundry1 billionPre-Series AKorea credit guarantee fund
Seers labAR1.5 billionVaiv Company

Major Funding

  • Iyunomedia Group, a localization company, has secured $160 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2. and plans to and upgrade the automatic translation and dubbing technology using AI.
  • Sendbird, a messaging platform for business communication, raised $100 million led by Steadfast Venture Capital.
  • Olive Union has raised KRW 20 billion worth of impact investment. Olive Union, established in 2016, offers smart hearing aids that are priced around KRW 100,000.
  • MVL Labs, the operator of Tada, a vehicle call service in Southeast Asia, has raised KRW 18 billion in investment to build infrastructure for supplying electric tricycles “E-tuktuk” to the Southeast Asian market by the end of this year.
  • Houstep, a startup providing individual interior construction services, has raised KRW 11 billion in investment and plans to use the funds in improving UX, developing systems, and expanding B2B business.
  • Amaze VR, a virtual reality (VR) content production and distribution company, has raised $9.5 million in investment and plans to expand the immersive concert markets for artists.

#Trend Analysis

3 Korean Startups Active in the Global Market

The number of startups that started in Korea and now have grown into global startups is increasing. They are active in international markets, attracting investment from famous global investment companies and becoming unicorns.

Iyunomedia Group= Iyunomedia Group is a localization company specializing in content that provides subtitles, translation, and dubbing to online video services (OTT) such as Netflix. It was established in Korea in 2002 and moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2011, then to the UK in 2019. With 67 branches in 34 countries, including Korea, Iyunomedia Group can process more than 80 languages. It merged with BTI Studio, Europe’s number one company, in 2019 and acquired SDI Media, the top company in the US market, in 2021, growing into the number one global company. About 160 professional workers are working in the Korean office and are in charge of post-production, production, IP distribution, and development. In 2018, it raised 24 billion dollars from SoftBank and has recently secured an additional $160 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and plans to and upgrade the automatic translation and dubbing technology using AI.

Sendbird=Sendbird is a SaaS company that provides enterprise chat messengers. It recently raised $100 million worth of investment from investors overseas, such as Japan’s Softbank’s Vision Fund, and became a unicorn company. The cumulative investment is $220 million. Among Korean startups that are mostly B2C companies, Sendbird is the first B2B startup to become a unicorn. Sendbird has 150 million users worldwide and is the number one global corporate chat platform. It provides functions such as text-type chatting, user reactions, voice and video calls, push notifications, spam blocking, and integration and linkage of chat data and services. Founded in 2015 by Kim Dong-shin, a serial entrepreneur who founded and sold game services, Sendbird began to stand out globally after being selected by Y-Combinator. With this investment, Sendbird plans to improve its services and secure more talent.

Moloco=Artificial Intelligence (AI) advertising solution startup Moloco has been valued for more than 1 trillion won and has earned its unicorn status. Moloco is a startup founded in Silicon Valley in 2013 by ex-Google and ex-Oracle engineers. With this investment, Moloco became the first company with a Korean founder who founded an artificial intelligence tech startup in Silicon Valley to become a unicorn. In addition to Silicon Valley, Moloco currently has offices in Seattle, Seoul, London, Jakarta, Tokyo, and Singapore, with about 200 people on the team. This investment is a pre-IPO round, meaning the last investment round before a potential IPO. Moloco’s goal is to be listed on the Nasdaq market within the next two to three years.

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