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[StartupRecipe] Korea Venture funding hits all time High in H1 of 2021

#Weekly Funding Overview

[July. 5~ July. 9 ]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 1.32 trillion.

KurlyFood delivery225.4 billionSeries FAspex Management, DST Global,Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital Group,Millennium Management Global Investment, CJ Logistics Corporation
SoynetAI1 billionIndustrial bank of Korea, Planh Ventures, Seoilenm
SevenbrauCraft Beer14 billionUlmus Investment, Kiwoom Securities, ID Ventures
MoneeappFintech-SeedSopoong Ventures
Teamgritlive streaming solution-SeedGyeonggi CCEI
JeonyookgakFood30 billionCapstone Partners, Premier Partners, StoneBridge Ventures, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Atinum Investment, Shinhan Venture Investment
Liting LabsMedical tech1.2 billionSeries A
Estate CloudProphtech-SeedMashup Angels
IngradientMedical AI1.4 billionPre-Series AYozma Group, Nextrans, Vision Creator
HopsData-SeedKakao Ventures, Shinhan Capital
KornatusMobility3.5 billionSeries AHumax
PoenEco friendly battery7.3 billionHYUNDAI MOTOR SECURITIES, L&S Venture Capital, DSC Investment, SCHMIDT, SJ Investment Partners, E&VENTURE PARTNERS, K2 Investment Partners, D.Camp
Nonuni raidersEntertainment-Keyinside
Next EditionCamping-SeedSpring Camp
Robo frienLocation-based service-korea credit guarantee fund
KSB TUGENBio/Healthcare200 millionSeedInfo Bank
Tordertablet Menu-SeedBigbasin Capital
NewbaseBio/Healthcare-Pre-Series ATimefolio Asset Management
GoqualIOT5 billionSeries AHanssem, Kolon Investment, Bass Investment, Bigbang Angels, Kyungin Electronics
PabloairDrone8.5 billionSeries BKTB Network, Be High Investment, Shinhan Investment, BNK Securities, Lotte Ventures
ThepictMetaverse-SeedGangwon CCEI

Major Funding

  • Travel platform Yanolja received an $8700 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund. SoftBank plans to buy a 10 percent stake in Yanolja. It is analyzed that they invested in Korean companies as the risk of domestic investment heightened due to the sanctions imposed by the Chinese authorities.
  • Fresh food delivery service Market Kurly raised KRW 225.4 billion in series F investment. The company achieved a KRW 2.5 trillion valuation. They plan to go public on the Korean stock market.
  • Fresh food service Jeongyookgak secured KRW 30 billion investment. In addition to selling super fresh pork within 4 days after butchering, they will also launch a super fresh seafood service.
  • Craft Beer company Sevenbrau got their first institutional investment of KRW 14 billion. The company value is estimated at 80 KRW billion. They aim to get listed in the first half of 2023.

#Trend Analysis

Korea Venture funding hits all time High in H1 of 2021

Following May, the amount of monthly investment in Korean startups exceeded KRW 1 trillion again, and it has hit a new high every month. In June, the number of investments reached 104, and the total amount was KRW1.43 trillion.

Along with the revitalization of the investment market, it is expected that there will be startups on the verge of becoming decacorns, going beyond unicorns. One of the strong candidates is Viva Republica, which raised a new investment of $410 million. Three years after acquiring unicorn status, the company was valued at $7.4 billion and nearly tripled the price of the last investment round.

The FinTech sector, to which Viva Republica belongs, raised the largest amount of investment, followed by the Bio/Healthcare sector, which includes a number of drug discovery companies. Significant investments were also concentrated in the software field, where AI-based startups such as Furiosa and Voyager X are located, and in the education field for Mathpresso and Ringle.

The biggest investor in June was KB investment, a venture capital affiliated with KB Financial Group, which invested in 10 companies. Silicon Valley venture capital Altos Ventures, which invested in Coupang and Krafton, also carried out 5 investments and was the most active global investor.

The total amount of investment raised in the first half of this year reached a record high of KRW 5.12 trillion, up 186 percent from the same period last year. In the first half of this year alone, it already surpassed last year’s total, which amounted to KRW 4.11 trillion.

There were many game-changing investments and M&As in the fields of fashion and luxury trading platforms for millennials and Gen Z in the first half of the year. In addition,  large companies and venture capitalists took note of startups related to logistics and delivery due to the increase in demand for delivery. Startups in the ESG sector that take into account eco-friendliness and sustainability also drew their attention.

In particular, the number of global investors investing in Korean startups increased significantly in the first half of the year. Hyperconnect hit an all-time jackpot when it was acquired by Match Group, which operates Tinder, for $1.725 billion. Coupang’s successful listing in the U.S. stock market has also changed global investors’ perspectives toward Korean startups. An exceptional number of startups received investments from global VCs, varying from well-known startups such as Iyuno Media Group, Sendbird, MOLOCO, Noom, and Teamblind to Korea-based startups like Viva Republica and Riiid.

Unicorn companies, which were almost non-existent last year, were also born. These include B2B messaging platform Sendbird, healthcare platform Noom, and ad-tech company Moloco. All of them are active on the global stage and are characterized by Korean entrepreneurs.

Given the current investment market sentiment, it is expected that additional startups such as Yanolja, Smartstudy, and Market Kurly will emerge to acquire unicorn status.

Female-founded startups are on the rise, but their share of the overall investment market is still low. 44 female-founded companies raised investment with a total of KRW 135.6 billion, accounting for just over 2.6 percent of the total investment in the first half of the year.

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