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[StartupRecipe] Why Are Presidential Candidates Rushing To Meet Startups

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Dec. 13~ Dec.17]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 555 billion.

Day1companyEducation10 billionCowell Investment Group Com2s, Crit Ventures
Lambda 256Blockchain70 billionSeries BDunamu, Woori Technology Investment, Hanwhasystems, Chong Kun Dang Holdings, Yanolja, Daelim, VTI Partners, DSC Investment, Shinhan Ventures, KB Investment, SBI Investment Korea
Manna CorporationDelivery81.4 billionKorea Investment Partners, Danal, IBK
Beyond Music CompanyMusic Rights2 trillionPraxis Capital Partners
ChequerData Governance21 billionSeedAtinum Investment, Murex Partners, KB Investment, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Primersazze Partners
B GARAGEDrone4.1 billionPre-Series ASoftbank Ventures, IMM Investment, BonAngels Venture Partners
SmoothyGroup video chat-M&AGoorumi
KasaProphtech19 billionWemade
Smallbig CalssEducation-GRANTTIPS
KB-ELEMENTGraphene7 billionSeries AKibo, Hanwha Investment & Securities, Shinhan Invesmtnet, Stic Ventures, K & Investment Partners, KB Investment
ACT GamesGame-Korea Credit Guarantee Fund
Creative Ballet soyesEducation-SeedNew Paradigm Investment
OneimmersVR12 billion
Persona spaceMetaverse10 billionDunamu, Naver z
OrwellhealthMental healthcare-SeedSpring Camp
Twoblock AIAI-Daekyo
DableAd tech-Yanolja
BosalpimSenior care-SeedStrong Ventures, Digital Health Partners
JocosVideo tech5.5 billionSeries BGS Retail, KB Securities, Solidus Investment, Sejong Venture Partners, Korea Asset Investment Securities, Kiwoom Investment
SpatialMetaverse30 billionPine Venture Partners, KB Investment, Korea Investment Partners, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Inovia Capital, White Star Capital, Lerer Hippeau
FriendliAIAI8 billionSeries ACapstone Partners, KB Investment, KB Securities
WithuShortform content-Hashed
BarogoDelivery10 billionSeries CPacificbridge asset management
Swit TechnologiesCollaboration tool26 billionSeries ASV Investment, Central, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, IMM Investment, Smilegate Investment, Dunamu & Partners, Hana Financial Investment, Klaus Partners, Primersazze Partners
Happy MoondayFemtech11 billionPre-Series BHana Ventures, Aju IB Investment, Kolon Investment, TS Investment, A Ventures, Spring Camp
Lion RocketAI Human6.5 billionSeries AID Ventures, Daesung Venture Capital, Harang Invest, Industrial bank of Korea, T Investment
PathEducation6.8 billionSeedCompany K Partners, IMM Investment, K2 Investment Partners, Bass Investment,
GXCGame10.7 billionseKnet Investment, Korea Develpoment Bank, Tiger Investment, Vision Creator, Megazone
JienemGuesthouse O2O-SeedCNTTECH
HimnandaFood1 billionWoori Bank
RootnstudioGame-Series ADaewonmedia
CampersgroundCamping-SeedMYSC, Eugene Investment
GaluxBio/Healthcare5 billionKakao Brain

Major Funding

  • Beyond Music, a music rights investment company, raised more than 200 billion won in funding. It specializes in investing, acquiring, and managing music copyrights and related rights. This investment will aid the company in gaining verified music IPs both domestically and internationally.
  • Manna Corporation, a comprehensive delivery platform, received an investment of 81.4 billion won. It plans to expand its delivery platform and launch Manna Eats, a single-order delivery created by a team of delivery drivers and merchants.
  • Lambda256, a blockchain subsidiary of Dunamu, secured 70 billion won in investment. The funding will be used to secure talent and expand the ecosystem for Blockchain-as-a-Service Luniverse.
  • Swit Technologies, which provides team collaboration SaaS Swit, raised 26 billion won. The company will use the funds to strengthen its product and expand globally, with plans to provide more advanced service in 13 languages next year.

#Trend Analysis

Why Are Presidential Candidates Rushing To Meet Startups

South Korean presidential candidates are looking for startup founders one after another ahead of the presidential election in March next year. Korea Startup Forum, an association of startups, arranged a meeting between two presidential candidates, Yoon Seok-yeol (People’s Power Party), Lee Jae-myung (Democratic Party of Korea), and Korea’s leading startups to hear policy suggestions. Various startups in the blockchain, social, education, and healthcare sectors and unicorns representing Korea such as Viva Republica and Kurly participated in the event and addressed their grievances.

It is not just to win votes from young people in their twenties and thirties that candidates for president meet startups. It also demonstrates that there is a growing interest in next-generation startups that will support future industries and economies in the digital transformation.

Lee Jae-myung (Democratic Party of Korea)

The Korean startup ecosystem has become more active than ever before, but there are still problems to be solved. The biggest challenge is regulatory relief. The most successful hailing startup in Korea, Tada faced conflicts with the existing taxi association ahead of becoming a unicorn and eventually ended its service after 18 months. Conflicts between existing and new industries are a frequent problem in the startup ecosystem. However, as the government ruled in favor of existing industries and sanctioned startups with regulations, the startup service that could have created innovations in the transportation system eventually ended with a tragic result.

In addition, various regulations including those governing large platform companies such as Coupang and Baedal Minjok, telemedicine regulations, and financial regulations are putting a brake on startup innovation.

The two presidential candidates are voicing the same opinion on these regulatory issues. They both advocate introducing negative regulations. Korea currently has positive regulations, which means only businesses mentioned in the law are allowed and everything else is prohibited. The two candidates insisted on introducing negative regulations and a one-stop system. They stated that Korea’s current regulations are inefficient and unsuitable for newly growing companies like startups.

Lee Jae-myung emphasized the need for a one-stop administrative system that will lead to administrative efficiency by allowing government officials who receive complaints to handle the issue to the end. Candidate Seok-Yeol Yoon also proposed a plan to streamline the channel for resolving problems caused by different institutions interpreting the law differently and to deal with them within the deadline by implementing time limits.

Yoon Seok-yeol (People’s Power Party)

They took a different stance on the growth of innovative companies. Candidate Lee put the social responsibility of innovative companies at the forefront, while Candidate Yoon focused on full support for the growth of startups. Lee emphasized fairness and shared growth, and Yoon advocated support for corporate growth and defense against traditional industries, reflecting each party’s tendencies.

Although some opinions differ depending on the political orientation, candidates for both parties are expected to continue promoting policies that can foster and support the startup ecosystem as the startup competitiveness is evaluated as national economic competitiveness.

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