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[StartupRecipe] Creating a Startup Valley Using Seoul’s Campus Town

#Weekly Funding Overview

[May. 3 ~ May. 7 ]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 48.7 billion.

WashswatLaundary17.5 billionSeries BUTC Investment,Industrial bank of Korea, KB Securities, T Investment, ES Investor,
QuantecFintech7.5 billionSeries BORBITECH, Shinhan Capital
ichrogeneGENE3 billionSeries AInsight Equity Partners
TownZCar sharing1.1 billionPre-Series ABass Investment, Fast Ventures, Future Play, Markandcompany
EFFYLIVEAudio SNS100 millionSEEDNextdream Angel Club
Paiptree SmartFarmSmart farm-M&AGreen Labs
Treasure hunterMCN-Series CBridgePole Investment, SB Partners
People&TechnologyAI3 billionAju IB Investment, Magellan Technology Investment, KINGO Investment Partners
WujuShopping app1.3 billionSeries ASamho Green Investment, Taeilcnt
39degreescMobile streaming600 millionSeedKakao Ventures, Shinhan Capital
STEPPAYSubscription payment-SeedSopoong Ventures
Bamboo networkMedia/Content2.5 billionSeries AF&F Partners, XnTree Ventures
spenditFintech2 billionSeries AHana Ventures, Kolon Investment, Signite partners
GongbbuEcommerce200 millionInfoBank
StreamiCryptocurrency Exchange-Digital currency group

Major Funding

  • Washswat raised KRW 17.5 billion worth of investment. The company collects laundry at dawn and delivers the clothes within two days. The service currently operates in Seoul and parts of Gyeonggi Province and plans to expand to the entire metropolitan area and upgrade the smart factory system with this investment.
  • Quantec, an AI customized asset management service, raised KRW 7.5 billion in investment and will use it to build a hyper-personalized financial investment platform and upgrade investment algorithms.
  • Ichrogene, a genetic analysis company, has raised KRW 3 billion won in investment. Ichrogene is developing a solution to predict chronic diseases and cancer by analyzing 600,000 genetic big-data and plans to advance their capabilities in analyzing genetic big-data and securing technology with this investment.
  • Spendit, which provides corporate expense and account adjustment automation services, has raised KRW 2 billion in investment. With this investment, the company plans to refine its overall expense management function and launch a service that combines expense management and corporate credit cards.

#Trend Analysis

Seoul will start creating a startup valley to create a “youth city great to start a business.” Seoul will be divided into three areas – Northwest, Southwest, and Northeast – to create a startup valley in conjunction with Campus Town and mobilize the city’s resources to support the growth of unicorn companies.

Campus Town is a project to utilize human and physical assets owned by universities to promote youth startups and depressed university towns simultaneously by cooperating with Seoul Metropolitan Government-universities-local districts. It has been in full swing since 2017 and currently operates at 34 universities in Seoul. It has also created 72 startup spaces. It provides youth startup space by utilizing idle space in subway stations. The Seoul Metropolitan Government expects to birth more than 1,000 startup companies through startup campuses this year.

So far, 646 startup teams have come out of Seoul Campus Town in the past four years since 2017 when the Seoul Metropolitan Government kicked off the program. Investment raised also rose 472 percent from 4.4 billion won to 25.2 billion won. Campus Town is also helping to revitalize the depressed local business community. Through cooperation between universities, young people, and residents, various ‘win-win’ projects such as local festivals, traditional markets, and startups that solve local problems are being promoted.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government recently presented its vision to promote ‘Seoul Campus Town 2.0’ to expand its campus town business. The plan is to support young people in achieving their dreams through startups that anyone can try. This plan is also in line with the “Fair and Coexisting Young Seoul,” which new Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon emphasized in his inaugural address in April.

First of all, startup valley will be established in three zones. The Northwestern zone will be a youth startup mecca, to strengthen R&D bases in the Southwest and strengthen the university-local community ties in the Northeast. The plan is to expand Campus Town into a cluster, whereas individual universities have run the program so far. The goal is to bring synergy by connecting universities and to bring about balanced development effects for universities.

It will also focus on supporting startups beyond the initial startup stage and become a unicorn company. It will mobilize all of Seoul’s policy resources such as Future Innovation Growth Fund, open innovation linked with big corporations, and R&D support programs.

In addition, it helps to turn young people’s creative ideas for solving social problems into businesses. In order to develop these ideas into business models that generate profit, the program will support all phases, from consulting to raising social impact investment. Based on these plans, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will officially announce its Seoul Campus Town 2.0 plan in June.

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