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[StartupRecipe] The secret to startups succeeding from the get-go

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Aug. 30~ Sep. 03]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 303.1 billion.

ZeropointtrailTravel-SeedJeju CCEI
EyeD LabPettech-SeedJeju CCEI
HabitfactoryFintech7.5 billionSeries BKB Investment, Translink Investment, KB Life
UrbanbaseProphtech13 billionHanwha Hotel&Resort
SnackforSnack subscription3.6 billionSeries A bridgeGS Retail, SBI Investment, Shinhan Capital, Future Play
H.B SmithQA Test2.2 billionSeries AIntops Investment, Hana Ventures, Fin del Mundo partners,
Medi WhaleBio/Healthcare3 billionSeries ASBI Investment, BNK Venture Investment
GlassdomeManufacture2.3 billionSeedCrit Ventures, Lotte Ventures, Primer sazze partners,
TagogayoVan Rent-Pre-Series ANew Paradigm Investment
DeepixelFashion2 billionSeries AEBEST Investment & Securities
NPIXELGame100 billionSeries BSeahan Venture Capital
ChexcarMobility2.5 billionPre-Series ALotte Ventures, KB Securities
Bigpicture interactiveeSports16 billionSeries BHana Ventures, Smilegate Investment, Daesung Venture Capital
FrienklyMetaverse-Wemade Tree
CharliePettech-Pre-Series ANew Paradigm Investment
MediquitousCommerce5 billionKorea Develpoment Bank
GateinnovationEducation8 billionA*Solutions Pte
RoboconRobotics100 billionSeries ADeepdive Investment
UpstageAI31.6 billionSeries ACompany K Partners, Softbank Ventures, TBT, Primier Partners, Stonebridge Ventures
EvaElectronic car5.5 billionSeries AHyndai Motors, DSC Investment, Schmidt, GS Global, Sk Rentcar, Shinhan Capital, Samsung Ventures Investment, Gentium Partners
Liveconnectlive streming3 billionNC Soft
SeednEnergy500 millionKakao Ventures
FittogetherSports10.7 billionHashed, Stic Ventures, IPS Ventures, Widwin InvestmentMagellan Technology Investment,
DeepbrainAiAI50 billionSeries BPosco holdings, L&S Ventures Investment, KDB Capital, Korea Development Bank, IMM Investment, NVester, Noh&Partners,
Class101Online class30 billionSeries BGoodwater Capital, Strong Ventures, KT Investment, Mirae asset Capital, Klim Ventures
KickthehurdleBio/Healthcare2.5 billionPre-Series BBNK Venture Investment, KOSME
AtnyLuxury Fashion5 billionSeries ASBI Investment, CJ ENM, ES Investor, Laguna Invest
PapamaketFood ecommerce2.2 billionSeedGyeongnam Venture Investment

Major Funding

  • NPixel, the game company that developed Gran Saga, attracted 100 billion won in investment and became a unicorn company in the shortest time in the game industry. With this investment, the company aims to strengthen its global market penetration and plans to launch Gran Saga in the Japanese market within this year. The next game Chrono Odyssey is also under development.
  • Upstage, a company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI), raised 31.6 billion won investment. Established by Naver Clova’s AI leader, plans to accelerate the development of AI Pack, an AI integrated solution that develops the company’s core business with investments.
  • Online class platform Class 101 plans to expand its global presence with an investment of 30 billion won. Since its launch in March 2018, it has operated more than 2,000 classes. So far, the company has reached 100,000 creators, 3 million members, and over 50 billion won has been paid to creators.
  • Big Picture Interactive, a comprehensive e-sport company, is attracting 16 billion won in investment. It operates a platform named LVUP.GG for game users and anyone within the platform can hold or participate in e-sport competitions. Krafton, Riot Games, Blizzard, and Nexon are hosting the competition.

#Trend Analysis

The secret to startups succeeding from the get-go

Danggeun Market raised 173.9 billion won last month, and its corporate value reached 3 trillion won. The valuation jumped 70 times in three years, and with this investment, the company joined the unicorn club six years after its establishment. Game company NPixel was also in the limelight last week for becoming a unicorn in the shortest time in the game industry. With the emergence of startups having such explosive growth in a short period of time, vcs are moving fast to catch startups with the potential to succeed in the early stages. Perhaps this is why more and more startups are highly valued by venture capitals within a few years after establishment or even before the service is released.

AI startup Voyager X raised 30 billion won worth of investment, which is hardly seen in the Series A funding round. Voyager X was founded by CEO Nam Se-dong, who developed successful services such as 1noon acquired by Naver, Say Club of Neowiz, and Naver’s Camera App B612. The company serves a video editing service named Brew and AI mobile scanner app V flat. Development capability and fast drive are its strongest assets.

AI startup Upstage also secured 31.6 billion won in the Series A phase. Upstage was founded last October by Kim Seong-hoon, a former AI leader of Naver Clova. Providing AI solutions to companies, it attracted corporate clients 8 months after its establishment and achieved sales of 8.8 billion won. The company also established a branch in Hong Kong and is working on its overseas expansion.

RXC came into the spotlight by raising 20 billion won worth of investment in a seed round right at the same time as its establishment. RXC is a next-generation commerce platform established by the former board chairman of TMON, Yoo Han-ik. It plans to launch a curation commerce shopping app with a focus on live commerce and content marketing and to provide a D2C media commerce platform for various brands, celebrities, and influencers. It will launch its first service at the end of this year.

Rebellions, an AI semiconductor company, raised 14.5 billion won during the pre-series A phase. It is the most notable startup in AI semiconductor design, which is a key technology in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The company consists of engineers who have experienced global semiconductor companies such as IBM, ARM, and Intel. It is planning to release the products next year.

If you look at the startups above, you can easily find similarities. First, it has a business model targeting the global market and global-level technology. It also has a history of success as a serial entrepreneur or a veteran of the industry has joined as a team member. Another similar point is the fact that it has raised investment from global venture capital and is an AI technology-based company.

Overall, we can see that startups with entrepreneurial capabilities, market growth potential, global potential, excellent technology, and talent are growing amid interest from investors from the beginning.

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