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[StartupRecipe] Why Right Now Is the Best Time to enter the Singaporean market

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Sep. 13~ Sep. 17]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 179.3 billion.

Deayang intelligencelibrary solution-SeedSopoong Ventures
MuesliMusic-SeedSeries Ventures
Autonomous a2zMobility16 billionSeries AKB Investment, Korea Investment Partners, K& Investment Partners, Enlight Ventures, Kakao Mobility, Kakao Investment,
Madras checkCollaboration tool5 billionSeries BBNK Venture Investment
Nature MobilityMobility4 billionSeries APathfinder H, Danal Investment Partners, Alticast
MakestarKpop14 billionSeries CKorea Develpoment Bank, NextG Investment, KC Ventures, Timewise Investment, Hana Financial Investment, ISU Venture Capital
Yerz500 millionPre-Series ALSK Investment, Hana Ventures
BungaejangterSecondhand Platform30 billionShinhan Financial Group
SafehouseStory Production1 billionPre-Series AWe Ventures
LboxLegal tech4 billionSeries AKB Investment, Aju IB, Wonik Investment Partners, Bass Investment
Copin CommunicationsDigital Contents15 billionNPX Private Equity
GametalesGame10 billionPre-Series AKorea Investment Partners, KB Investment
AlphaPrimeFintech1.3 billionPre-Series ASchmidt, DSC Investment
Uglee labWaste treatment-SeedMashup Angels
NetonAI-Hexagon Investment Consulting
DailybeerCraft Beer7 billionSeries ALB Investment, Wonik Investment Partners
Robo AreteRobotics500 millionGRANTTips
SellerhubEcommerce solution17 billionSeries BAtinum Investment, K2 Investment Partners, E&Venture Partners, Kolon Investment, Atinum Partners, Korea Omega Investment, Shinhan Capital, Crit ventures, Korea Investment Partners, Mega Investment
Bankware GlobalFintech15 billionSeries BSBI Investment, Korea Investment Partners, CompanyK Partners, Naver Cloud
ZeropointtrailActivity-Jeju CCEI, Crypton
Munch factoryPlace sharing platform2 billionSeries ALaguna Investment
AhaKnowledge commerce3 billionSeries ADSC Investment, Bluepoint Partners, Central Investment Partners
GriinSmart farm-Hite Jinro
PluglinkElectronic car charging-SeedSchmidt
SuperkitchenFood ecommerce20 billionSeries BBlue Run Ventures, We Venture, Signite Partners, Kiwoom Investment, ES Investor, KT Investment, Hyundai Technology Investment, Future Play, CKD Venture Capital
Lillycover-Series AMYSC, Eugene Investment

Major Funding

  • Bungaejangtaer, an online secondhand platform, raised 30 billion won in investment from Shinhan financial group. Following the investment, Bungaejangter will partner with Shinhan Card to offer services related to secondhand good trading and develop digital content.
  • Autonomous a2z, a company specializing in autonomous mobility solutions, received a series A investment of 16 billion won. With this investment, the company plans to develop fully autonomous vehicles by 2027.
  • Makestar, a K-pop content platform operator, raised 14 billion won in investment. The new funding will be used to develop NFTs and a metaverse platform for virtual artists.

#Trend Analysis

Why Right Now Is the Best Time Ever for Korean Startup to enter the Singaporean market

“As Coupang succeeded in listing on the U.S. stock market earlier this year, Singaporean investors are paying attention to Korean startups.” Oh Young-rok, CEO of Awesome Ventures, said, “Now is the best time for Korean startups to enter the Southeast Asian market, so don’t hesitate to challenge.” Awesome Ventures runs accelerating programs in both Korea and Singapore. It is the only Korean accelerator in Singapore and is a cross-border accelerator that directly connects Korean startups with the Southeast Asian investment market to help their global expansion. So far, it has fostered more than 50 companies and directly invested in 9 startups.

“Startup ecosystems of Singapore and Korea look alike, but the difference is…”

Singapore’s startup ecosystem, which is the main playing field of Awesome Ventures, resembles Korea’s lot. As in Korea, the government took the lead in forming the startup ecosystem and provided a substantial amount of subsidies. The difference is that, as an Asian financial hub, the market itself is overflowing with liquid funds. “There are enough people in Singapore who are willing to invest money,” says Oh. The scale of each stage of investment is also slightly larger than that of Korea. According to CEO Oh, about 500 million won is invested in the pre-series stage, a scale that is rarely seen in Korea.

Awesome Ventures chose Singapore among Southeast Asian countries because of its charm as a Southeast Asian hub and market funds. Oh states that 70% of venture capital companies are located in Singapore, and all of the global enterprises have their Asian headquarters in Singapore, so open innovation of large corporations will also begin in Singapore. It goes to show that Singapore is the best gateway to enter the Southeast Asian market. The strength of Awesome Ventures as an accelerator is its local network. It connects Korean startups with investors through various public-private networks in Singapore, such as Vertex, an investment company that invested in Grab. This year, it will participate in LAUNCHPAD hosted by the Korea Creative Content Agency to support Korean content startups entering the Singapore market. LAUNCHPAD is a global program designed to help Korean content startups’ overseas expansion in 6 countries, including Singapore. 

“Now is the best time for Korean startups to enter the Southeast Asian market”

Awesome Ventures has participated in the LAUNCHPAD program since June and recently finished selecting 5 startups. By the end of this year, it will help them settle in the Singapore market by providing customized nurturing services, from market entrance strategy to actual investment connections. To this end, it conducted a 1:1 in-depth interview with each startup to identify goals and expectations for overseas expansion and invited local investment companies to the interview to confirm the possibility of success in local investment.

Awesome Ventures plans to support launchpad startups in three ways. First, it matches local companies in the same field as the incubated startups and helps them cooperate. The second is to connect them with local investment companies investing in the same field. It also props them up to participate in Switch, the largest event in Singapore, and helps all selected startups set up their businesses in Singapore.

Oh picked DoubleMe as the most promising company to succeed in Singapore. DoubleMe serves the Metaverse platform Twin World, with the recently emerging Metaverse as its core business. There seems to be a high possibility of success as it has already signed a contract with Singtel, Singapore’s major telecommunication company, and is drawing a local response. The company accurately matches the Product-Market Fit, which Oh mentioned as the most critical element in entering the Singapore market.

When asked him for advice on the global market entry strategy for Korean startups Oh advised to improve English skills and enter the actual market to understand the local environment. “The way to increase the chances of success is not just sitting down and setting up a strategy, but facing reality in the local market,” he added. “Now is the best time for Korean startups to enter the Southeast Asian market. As Coupang succeeded in listing this year and HyperConnect was acquired by, there was a Korean buzz among investment companies here.” He advised, “More and more investors are asking us for Deal Flow in Korea, and the atmosphere is really good. If you consider entering Southeast Asia right now, I advise you not to hesitate.”

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