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[StartupRecipe] K-Startups Show Resilience with Revenue Growth and Cost Control in 2023

#Weekly Funding Overview

[April. 8 ~ April. 12]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of the week is KRW 88 Billion.

LatticeContract management2 billionPre-Series AAscendo Ventures, Spring Camp, Dasung Ventures
SpaceintechSpace Medicine4 billionSeries AWoori Venture Partners, Company K Partners
BREWGURUBeverage4.5 billionSeries AHeungkuk FNB, Future Play
KOBATSecondary battery solution10 billionSeries ASBI Investment, D-Camp, KDB Capital, Shinhan Capital, Daishin Securities, Astone Ventures, Interval Partners
1selfworldWeb3-SeedBlue Point Partners
KalmanRobotic solution500 millionThe Invention lab
TnJFashion brand10.5 billionEugene Asset Management, Shinyoung Investment & Securities
Kaitus TechnologyDrone-
CrossPoint TherapeuticsBio2.1 billionSeedInfobank, KITE Entrepreneurship foundation, Korea Omega, Korea University Technology Holdings
ArtbloodBio6.5 billionSeries APartners Investment, Korea Development Bank, Korea Investment Accelerator, OnenPartners, Heungkuk Securities
BayconeSIM-Seed500Global, shorooq Partners
AtAI agent-The Ventures
ReppleyAI Avatar-SeedThe Ventures
SherpasIT asset management-Pre-Series ABon Angels Venture Partners

#Major Funding

  • Cobat, a comprehensive battery pack solution provider, has raised 10 billion won in investment. The company provides comprehensive solutions for secondary battery packs, including design, production, control, cooling, and charging.
  • ArtBlood, a biotechnology company, has raised 6.5 billion won in investment. The company’s proprietary technology produces bioblood, which is equivalent to real blood cells and can be functionally expanded, by mimicking the process of bone marrow blood production outside the body.
  • BuruGuru, a liquor manufacturing startup, has raised 4.5 billion won in investment. The company manufactures kombucha, butterbeer, highballs, and other alcoholic beverages.

#Trend Analysis

Startups Show Resilience with Revenue Growth and Cost Control in 2023

Despite a challenging investment climate in 2023, many startups are reporting positive financial results, demonstrating resilience and adaptation. This trend is particularly notable among platforms that previously faced funding hurdles. Both pre-IPO companies and established market leaders are showing strong performance.

Grocery delivery platform Kurly enjoyed its most successful year ever in terms of revenue. Operating losses significantly decreased by 40% due to a more optimized cost structure, including reductions in fixed marketing and logistics expenses. Notably, Kurly achieved its first monthly profit in December 2023. With several IPO delays in the past, market watchers are curious to see if the company will finally go public this year.

Founded just eight years ago, Korean poshmark Daangn has achieved profitability. Ad revenue is surging, with an average annual growth rate of 122%. Leveraging its impressive 36 million user base, Daangn aims to expand into a comprehensive regional online marketplace.

While online fashion retailer Musinsa reached nearly 1 trillion won in revenue, it faced its first year of losses, recording a deficit of 8.6 billion won. This can be attributed to increased operating expenses, including losses from subsidiaries, stock compensation, and talent investments.

Fashion platform Ably Corporation successfully returned to profitability in 2023. Service revenue doubled year-over-year, driven by growth in non-fashion categories. Strong user numbers were also cited as a key factor in this expansion

Luxury fashion platforms like Mustit, Balan, and Trenbe experienced declining sales but also saw reductions in losses. This suggests improved business conditions achieved through cost-efficiency measures and a focus on internal operations. However, the challenging market environment forced another player, Catch Fashion, to cease operations due to the overall consumer spending slowdown.

Although many startups remain unprofitable, they have demonstrably narrowed their deficits through market adaptation, cost management, and successful monetization strategies. With an improved investment environment and ongoing efforts to strengthen their financial health, the positive performance is expected to continue throughout 2024.

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