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[StartupRecipe] Top 10 most funded Korean Startups in 2021

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Dec. 20~ Dec.24]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 3,97.85 billion.

KulryDelivery250 billionPre-IPOAnchor Equity Partners Korea
RecoClean tech12 billionSeries BD3 jubilee Partners, DSC Investment, Smilegate Investment, Envisioning Partners, GS
40FYMental healthcare2 billionPre-Series AKlim Ventures
JejememeKids platform1.7 billionPre-Series AHashed, Spring Camp
Tuwell CorportaionClean tech-SeedSang Sang E Biz
OasisbusinessFintech50 millionPre-Series ARisings ventures, Daedeok Venture Partners, Lotte Ventures
Chai CorporationFintech53 billionSeries B BridgeSoftbank Ventures, Nyca Partners, KT Investment, Conductive Ventures, Nordstar, Samsung NEXT, B Capital
GrumaticCloud-Pre-Series AOlive Tree Ventures, Vision Creator, Nextrans, PMF Investment
Cinnnamon CompanyKids Content-SeedMashupangels
Stan WorldMetaverse3.5 billionSeries AKB Investment, Strong Ventures
NuturnMulti Content800 millionPre-Series ANeptune, BA Partners
WorksmateWorker Matching-Pre-Series AKorea growth investment, Postech holdings, Korea Investment Partners
NinebiopharmBio/Healthcare8 billionSeries AVenture Builders, Laplace Partners, Seoul Investment Partners, ST Capital, Capstone Partners, Korea Asset Investment & Securities
DBDLABUX-Pre-Series AThe Invention Lab, Bandi
EDmicbioBio/Healthcare-Digital Healthcare Partners
Dorphiners filimsMedia/Content-M&AKakao Entertainment
StudiokMedia/Content-M&AKakao Entertainment
HimediBio/Healthcare3 billionSeries ATBT Partners, White Star Capital
AluxEducation-Pre-Series CNetmarble Corporation, IMM Investment, Lotte Ventures, Wooshin Venture Investment
NexiBio/Healthcare4 billionPre-Series ADSC Investment, Schmidt, Hana Ventures, Deawoong
UnijetInkjet Printer9 billionKorea Development Bank
Break&CompanyTrading card platform1.2 billionSeedKB Investment, Strong Ventures
KokoziKids Content6.55 billionPre-Series ATBT Partners, Signite Partners, L&S Venture Capital, KDB Capital , Donga Science, ZVC, Team Global
IotrustBlockchain6.5 billionSeries BL&S Venture Capital, KDB Capital, Krun Ventures, SL Investment, KB Investment, Jiransecurity
ConveniiContent commerce-Series BTimewise investment, Ulysses Capital, BAPartners, RYUKYUNG PSG, Mega Investment, Donghoon Investment
Waynehills VenturesAI2 billionHalla holdings
LuckmonBlockchain750 millionPre-Series APrimersazze Partners
HomecheckHousing repair500 millionSeedBluepointpartners
HilokalEducation700 millionPre-Series ADohe International, Biznium, First Gate
SpirinkAI2 billionNeptune
PetpricePettech-Hexagon Investment
LuxroboEducation15.8 billionPre-IPO"Hanwha Systems, Hanhwa Asset Management, ATU Partners, ACE Investment & Finance, Prophet asset management, SB Partners, CK Goldilocks, RootN Global Investors"
PhenomxBio/Healthcare-Series AInterValue Partners, BNK Venture Capital, KAIC
CloudpaperPettech-SeedThe Invention Lab
RhinoboxPettech-SeedThe Invention Lab
PetpeotalkPettech-SeedThe Invention Lab

Major Funding

  • Fintech company Chai Corporation secured 53 billion won in funds. It is expanding its services by acquiring the prepaid card Chai Card and the B2B payment platform Iamport last year. As the number of domestic companies entering overseas markets increases, the company plans to actively target Iamport’s global expansion through this investment.
  • LUXROBO, a startup with robotics educational technology and IoT, raised 18.5 billion won in pre-IPO investment. Funds will be used for technology development and product manufacturing to promote new IoT businesses and strengthen existing education businesses.
  • A waste management startup Recokr secured a 12 billion won follow-up investment after this March. This funding will help the company expand the investment to the entire industrial wastes.
  • Kids audio content Kokozi raised 6.05 billion won. It plans to release an audio player for children.

#Trend Analysis

In 2021, overseas V.C.s’ interest in Korean startups has increased, and the largest amount of investment has been concentrated on startups thanks to the government’s active fund of funds investment. The investment attracted by startups this year is expected to exceed 13 trillion won, which is more than double the amount of last year. The following are the top 10 startups based in Korea that have secured the most funds.

  1. Yanolja raised $1.7 billion from Softbank and its value was estimated at 9-10 trillion won, close to Decacorn. Founded in 2007, Yanolja has maintained the No. 1 spot in the accommodation reservation industry in Korea and became a unicorn in 2019.
  2. Kurly, the operator of Market Kurly, is planning to go public on the KOSDAQ in 2022, following a 255.4 billion won investment in July and a 250 billion won pre-IPO in December. Established in 2015, it was the first company in the industry to introduce early morning delivery. Its corporate value was recognized as 4 trillion won.
  3. Toss operator Viva Republica is now heading toward becoming a decacorn, raising 460 billion won and valued at 8.2 trillion won. Established in 2013, it has grown into a financial platform used by 20 million people.
  4. Korea’s first-generation e-commerce company, Tmon, established in 2010, secured an investment of 305 billion won in pre-IPO earlier this year. Due to fierce competition for dominance among e-commerce platforms, the company plans to withdraw its listing set to be this year. Instead it will push for listing next year after strengthening its competitiveness. 
  5. Ruiid raised $175 million from Softbank’s sole investment. It drew attention as it was the third Korean startup to attract sole investment from Softbank. Founded in 2014, it has provided personalized educational content such as A.I. Tutor, established a U.S. corporation in 2020, and advanced into overseas markets in earnest.
  6. Beyond Music Company, an investment firm specializing in music I.P., secured an investment of 200 billion won. The company was established in 2020, benchmarking Hipgnosis in the U.K. It holds the copyright and related rights of 20,000 music sources worth 70 billion won.
  7. Hyperlocal platform Karrot Market raised 178.9 billion won and became a unicorn this year. The corporate value is 3 trillion won. One of the fastest-growing companies in Korea, Karrot was founded in 2015 and exceeded 21 million subscribers. It succeeded in entering 4 overseas markets and launching Karrot Pay. 
  8. G.I. Innovation, an anticancer drug development company, raised 160.3 billion won in the pre-IPO round. Currently conducting global clinical trials with AstraZeneca in the U.K. and Merck in the U.S., it is set to be listed on the KOSDAQ early next year.
  9. Online fashion company Musinsa attracted 130 billion won with a corporate value of 2.5 trillion won. It started as an online community for sneakers in 2001 and has grown into a fashion company with a turnover exceeding 1 trillion won.
  10. Autonomous driving startup 42dot secured 104 billion won in strategic investment from several large corporations. Founded in 2019, it has raised the highest amount of Series A investment in Korea. It aims to build UMOS (Urban Mobility Operating System) and currently implements autonomous vehicle services in Seoul.

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