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[StartupRecipe] Government Initiatives Propel Korean Startups Abroad

#Weekly Funding Overview

[April.6 ~ May. 10]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of the week is KRW 217.3 Billion.

CompanyIndustryAmountRoundInvestors
HoneylabsSleeptech15.8 billionSeries BKorea Development Bank, Hi Investment Partners, Quad Asset Management
Mines AIMental Health1 billionSeries AStone Bridge Ventures, Yonsei University BioHealth Technology Holdings
Saige ResearchSmart factory-GrantScaleup TIPS
Planby TechnologiesInterior Design-Seed500Global
SILI ENERGYSecondary battery-SeedSeoul Techno Holdings
Bead originSemiconductors2 billionSeries A3M
Polaris3DRobotics2 billionJX Partners
Viva Ground4050 Wellness-SeedNanum angles
DatarizeMartech15 billionSeries BStonebridge Ventures, Mirae Asset Venture Investments, Atinum Investment
Perigee spaceSpace14 billionPre IPOEnLight Ventures, Behigh Investment, JB Investment, Evergreen Investment Partners, J1 Venture Capital, KT Investment, DT&Investment, Intops Investment, Triangle Partners
Capsule mediaVideo Production5 billionSeries AKorea Development Bank, Hana Securities, KNet Investment Partners
42MaruGen AI-Series BNaver Cloud
ModuventuresContents1.3 billion
NXN LabsGen AI-NaverD2SF
GllugaGel nail13 billionHPE, BNH Investment
Over the handVirtuber tech3 billionSeries AKorea Investment Partners, L&S Venture Capital
Liberty LabsManufacturing-Seoul Techno Holdings, Bass Investment
Dream packHealthcare-Seoul Techno Holdings
Habitus AssociatesArt platform-SeedGlobex Holding Management, 500Global, Steve Chen
CelloidBio-GrantScaleup TIPS
GPUNGame1.7 billionKakao Ventures, Kona Ventures Partners
AI CONNECTBusiness matching-Pocket company
VIC GAME STUDIOSGame20 billionKADOKAWA
DeepxAI Fabless110 billionSeries CSkylake equity partners, BNW Investment, Aju IB
BAZ BIOMEDICBio10 billionSeries BBNH Investments, Muirwoods Ventures
ITDA semiconductorSemiconductor3 billionPre-Series AWe Ventures, L&S Venture capital
Ready cureHealthcare-Pre-Series AFuture Play
SconVirtual youtuber Ent.500 millionSM Culture partners

#Major Funding

  • DeepX, a company of low-power AI semiconductors for robots, home appliances, and mobility, has raised 110 billion won in funding. The company plans to utilize the funds to mass-produce its first-generation products and expand overseas.
  • HoneyLabs, a company specializing in sleep data analysis, has secured 15.8 billion won in funding. The company offers Somnum, an AI-powered sleep diagnosis software approved by the US FDA, and is developing AI models for diagnosing various diseases.
  • Data Rize, a marketing solution company, has raised 15 billion won in funding. The company provides CRM marketing for e-commerce businesses, supporting the automation of personalized campaign material creation, audience setting, delivery, operation, and result analysis. It plans to use the investment to expand into global markets.
  • Perigee Aerospace, a space startup, has attracted 14 billion won in funding. The company, aiming for an IPO this year, will use the funds to develop its launch vehicle Blue Whale 1 (BW1).

#Trend Analysis

Government Initiatives Propel Korean Startups Abroad

South Korea’s startup scene is facing intensifying competition domestically. As a result, going global has become a critical strategy for many young companies. This trend is evident with well-funded startups like Upstage and Bearbotics prioritizing overseas markets and achieving success there. Additionally, an increasing number of startups are choosing to launch directly in foreign markets.

Despite the growing interest in global expansion, only 2.8% of Korean startups have successfully ventured abroad. Key obstacles include a lack of information about overseas markets, difficulty securing funding, and limited local experience.

The Korean government is actively addressing these challenges through a multi-pronged approach designed to support domestic startups in their global ambitions. This includes a range of global support policies, inter-ministerial cooperation, and efforts to strengthen overseas capital inflow.

<Highlights of Government Initiatives>

  • Open AI Cooperation: Ten promising startups received mentoring, consulting, and co-fostering support from OpenAI.
  • Startup Korea Fund: A 2 trillion won venture fund, backed by the government and large private companies, will see investments exceeding 300 billion won from companies like Samsung, LG, and Hanwha.
  • Cooperation with Overseas Diplomatic Missions: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs established a council to support SMEs by providing global information, assisting with export challenges, and fostering connections through overseas diplomatic missions (expected rollout in 25 locations).
  • K Global Star: This initiative establishes an investment platform connecting Korean startups with global VCs. It will facilitate attracting international investment and provide successful companies with additional support, such as technology guarantees and matching investments. The program will launch in Japan initially, with planned expansion to the US, Asia, and Europe.
  • TIPS-CTS Project: This project links startups venturing into developing countries with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ overseas expansion program (CTS). It will offer R&D and local demonstration funding, with a pilot program scheduled for August.
  • Global Tips: This program provides up to 200 million won ($200,000 or more) in commercialization funds for startups that have already received investment from global VCs and are aiming to further grow their overseas presence.
  • Connecting with Foreign Students: The government is implementing measures to streamline work visa processes, promote the “K-Export Warrior 1,000 Project” which leverages foreign talent, and support SME recruitment of foreign students.

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