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[StartupRecipe] Spotlight on Art Tech Platforms

#Weekly Funding Overview

[April.29 ~ May. 3]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of the week is KRW 135.4 Billion.

WilcoThermo-Guardian Sheet-Pre-Series ADeakyo Investment
AllmytourTravel1 billionPre-Series AShinhan Venture Investment, Korea Investment Accelerator
SurffFright transport-SeedKorea Investment Accelerator
VtoVDelivery10 billion
Avelos TherapeuticsBio17 billionSeries BStarset Investment, Medytox Venture Investment,Shinhan Capital, LSK Investment, Heungkuk Securities, SV Investment, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Quad Asset Management, Timefolio Capital
Papa marketOnline food market-Hite Jinro
BOS SemiconductorsFabless-Atinum Investment
RootembioHealth Functional food1 billionSeedBehigh Investment
276 holdingsFintech-Pre-Series A2Sui Generis Partners
Aiz EntertainmentAI Content6 billionLB Investment, Stonebridge Ventures
Second EurekaFranchise builder-Pre-Series AKimGisa Lab
PillsangSecurity-Pre-Series AGravity Ventures
01republicB2B SaaS-SeedMashup Ventures
BFAIAI Solution-SeedKorea Investment Accelerator
GGticsGame-M&AGen.G Esports
Dewcell BiotherapeuticsBio9 billionPartners Investment, KDB Development Bank, Heungkuk Securities, Shinhan Capital, KIBO
NulleeTax5 billionSeries BSmilegate Investment, Woori Venture Partners, KB Securities
ModusignElectronic contract17.7 billionSeries CSBVA, ATINUM Investment

#Major Funding

  • Modusign, an electronic contract SaaS compay, has secured 17.7 billion won in investment. The company’s services allow users to create legally binding contracts through dedicated links via email, KakaoTalk, and other channels. As of April of this year, Modusign has secured 270,000 corporate customers.
  • B2B logistics startup VtoV has secured 10 billion won in investment. The company operates To-day, an optimal route delivery service. VtoV plans to use the investment to expand its customer base among e-commerce businesses.

#Trend Analysis

Spotlight on Art Tech Platforms

The digital transformation of the art market accelerates, and art tech startups like art trading and investment platforms are flourishing. Even in Korea, where the art market has flourished, reaching the trillion-dollar mark, art trading platforms have been on the rise for several years, although their number remains modest.

Including Yeolmae Company (Art & Guide), an investment platform that allows you to invest in parts of artworks, a significant amount of funding of KRW 42.7 billion was received in 2022. However, funding dropped to less than KRW 10 billion last year due to a general decline in the investment market and a sluggish art market caused by the economic downturn.

This year, however, the first quarter alone saw more investment than the entirety of the previous year. Excitement is building as new platforms continue to emerge. These platforms play a crucial role in transforming the art market. Not only do they move offline transactions online, but they also make the art market accessible to everyone, democratizing it by eliminating information asymmetry and enabling people to buy and invest in artworks with smaller amounts of money.

In Korea, investment platforms allowing fractional ownership of artworks are particularly popular, and the market is expected to grow further as the government promotes legislation for fractional investment in artworks based on token securities. In April, Tessa, a blue-chip art investment platform, secured KRW 8.8 billion from securities firms and others. They have made it easy for users to connect their accounts with securities firms and invest directly within the app.

The constant emergence of new platforms underscores the projected growth of the art market. Charrt, which recently received an initial investment from 500 Global, is an art resale platform targeting art collectors and the secondary market. It offers automatic art matching, authenticity appraisal, shipping, and settlement, and is growing rapidly, having surpassed KRW 2.6 billion in cumulative transactions within 10 months of launching its paid service.

LeMusee, which secured seed investment in January, is a digital art marketplace that helps K-art go global. This platform introduces only Korean artists’ works to global collectors and allows them to view and purchase offline exhibitions in real time on an online platform. Another platform, MISULLO, is an art management platform that keeps artworks in an optimal environment and plans to grow into an integrated art management platform.

Currently, art investment platforms are attracting the most attention from investors in Korea, but technological advancements and the growing interest in art among Generation MZ are expected to lead to the emergence of more related startups and market growth. Of course, there are many challenges, such as creating a safe environment for investment and verifying the authenticity of artworks. However, these platforms are changing the way art is consumed and the investment paradigm, and are expected to continue to attract interest from investors.

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