Scroll to top
© 2020, Startuprecipe theme by Rssow

[StartupRecipe] Rise of Service Robots

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Mar. 18 ~ Mar. 21]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of the week is KRW 102.2 Billion.

NeedsFood Inventory management-Seed BridgeNewkids Investment
WinclClimate tech-Seed500 Global
MockingbirdEdutech-SeedKaist Ventures, Korea Investment Accelerator,
Bloomsbury educationEdutech-M&AGlorang
VA GamesGame-Atinum Investment, Knet Investment
AIOFARMAgritech3.5 billionSeries ANBH Capital, Cape Investment&Securities, NBH Capital, NH Investment & Securities, Nonghyup Bank
SoftberryEV4.8 billionSeries A BridgePartners Investment, Friend Investment Partners, NH Venture Investment, NH Investment & Securities, KIBO, Kosmes
Aiz EntertainmentEntertainment Content10 billionSeedBonn Angels Venture Partners
PreneuDrone15 billionSeries BT Investment, BNK Investment & Securities, Hyundai Technology Investment, Korea Investment & Securities, New Main Capital, Stick Ventures
CellkeyHealthcare-Series ADt&CRO
Neuro VentiHealthcare1 billionHLB Group
JeongyookgakFoodtech10 billionNH Investment & Securities, Atinum Investment, Capstone Partners
SixshopShoppingmall solution-M&ASellerhub
CoffeetingDating app-SeedPrimer
InceraSolutionManufacturing300 millionSeedJB Ventures
OfflightDaily planning tool-SeedMashup Ventures, Bass Investments, The Ventures
SolivisSecondary battery20 billionSeries B
NBNBProptech-Pre-Series ANew Paradigm Investment
MimeticsHealthcare-SeedFutureplay, Mashup Ventures
DataknowsProptech-Hi Investment Partners
TerracleClimate tech10.5 billionSeries AEnvisioning Partners, DSC Investment, Hyundai Motor Group Zero One, Korea Development Bank, Schmidt

#Major Funding

  • AI healthcare company Aitrics secured 27.1 billion investment. Aitrics has developed VitalCare, a system that monitors hospitalized patients’ conditions in real time and predicts deterioration such as cardiac arrest. The investment will be used to obtain US FDA approval and enter the global market.
  • UAV design and manufacturing company Preneu secured KRW 15 billion investment. The company  is carrying out various domestic development projects in the fields of drone airframe design and manufacturing, core component development, and control systems.
  • AI-based entertainment content company AIZ Entertainment secured KRW 10 billion investment. AIZ Entertainment connects users with content that matches their interests and provides interactive entertainment experiences.
  • Foodtech company Jeongyookgak secured KRW 10 billion investment. The investment will be used as operating capital for both Jeongyookgak and its subsidiary, Chorok Village, to achieve a black-and-white structure.

#Trend Analysis

Rise of Service Robots

The utilization of service robots in restaurants is experiencing a surge. Labor shortages and escalating labor expenses are compelling restaurants to embrace robotic solutions. In response to this demand, a burgeoning number of startups, both in Korea and abroad, are developing serving robots and kitchen robots capable of cooking or preparing various food items such as coffee, chicken, and burgers. With the projected boom in the service robot sector, investors are also showing keen interest.

In South Korea, significant investments have been directed towards companies specializing in serving robot solutions since 2022. Recently, Bear Robotics, a provider of serving robots, disclosed a substantial investment of $6 million from LG Electronics, while Aniai, specializing in automated burger cooking, secured KRW 15.7 billion earlier this year.

As the market expands, so does the presence of domestic robotics startups venturing into the global arena. Alongside Bear Robotics, headquartered in Silicon Valley, Aniai has set up base in New York City. Additionally, Robertchicken, a company specializing in robot-fried chicken, has announced the opening of a chicken store in New York City. Similarly, Shinstar Presents, a self-cooking robot company, has declared the opening of Korean restaurant in Silicon Valley. GoPizza, known for its robotic pizza-making, has expanded its operations to seven countries, including Singapore and India.

While investors eye this market with interest, success isn’t assured. ZUME, a pizza startup funded by SoftBank with a valuation of $500 million, filed for bankruptcy. Despite its efforts to automate pizza production and delivery with a food truck concept, it folded due to a flawed business model. Many argue that robots won’t replace humans but will serve as complements. Nevertheless, the demand for service robots is anticipated to rise, considering that the labor shortage, initially thought to be temporary during the COVID-19 pandemic, persists post-pandemic.

This year, the government announced plans to invest KRW 3 trillion by 2030 to nurture an advanced robot industry, aiming to replace human laborers. A blueprint outlining strategies to foster the robot industry has been unveiled, indicating sustained growth prospects for the market.

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter


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

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter