#Weekly Funding Overview[Dec. 3~ Dec.7]
The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 281.5 billion.
|AIMMO||AI||12.6 billion||Series A||AIMMO DS Asset Management, Industrial bank of Korea, Hanwha Investment & Securities, S&S Investment, Toseu Investment, Korea Asset Investment & Securities, Venturefield|
|Nulleesoft||Tax Platform||4 billion||Series A||D3 Jubilee Partners, Smilegate Investment, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, KTB Network|
|TIME&CO||Media/Content||1.1 billion||Seed||Kakao Ventures|
|We are the||Fashion||900 million||Pre-Series A||Korea Investment|
|Reverse Lab||Shared bus||-||Seed||CNTTech|
|Aicel||Data Service||-||Fiscal note|
|Dosigotgan||Food||-||Pre-Series A||Sopoong Ventures, Kingsley Ventures, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, Samyangchemical|
|TalentBank||Talent Matching||6 billion||Series A||Avenue company, BNK Securities, Hanwhalife|
|ATOMOM Korea||Healthcare||-||New Paradigm Investment|
|Maas Asia||Shared mobility||-||Series A||Lotte Ventures, Daedeok Venture Partners, Main Street Investment|
|VIRNECT||XR||30 billion||Series B||Stic Ventures, Lotte Ventures, Hanwha, KTB Network, KB Investment, Korea Develpoment Bank|
|Dver||digital mail room||2 billion||Series A||SJ Investment Partners, Capstone Partners, LG Uplus|
|Dealicious||Food||54 billion||Series C||Stonebridge Ventures, Stonebridge Ventures, DSC Investment, Yuanta Investment, Smilegate Investment|
|Bemyfriends||Fan commerce||8 billion||Saehan Venture Capital, GS, Dreamuscomapny|
|2HAELIFESTYLE||furniture rental||3 billion||Series A||SmartstudyVentures, SUN&L, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Co, Bluepointpartners, Seoul Business Agency|
|Egg Corporation||Digital Healthcare||-||Seed||CCEI gangwon|
|Lighten Technologies||h||-||Seed||CCEI gangwon|
|Lighten Technologies||Healthcare||-||Seed||CCEI gangwon|
|NBNB||housing rental||-||Seed||CCEI Incheon|
|Standard Energy||Vanadium Ion Battery||65 billion||Lotte Chemical|
|Funble||Fintech||5 billion||Woori Technology Investment, SK Securities, Maple Investment Partners, Hanwha Hotels & Resorts, The Square& Company|
|Fridayslab||Business tool||-||Seed||Kakao Ventures|
|Unitcompany||All in one production||-||Seed||Strong Ventures|
|SmartInside AI||Safety solution||-||Honest Ventures|
|Ninenjoy||Game||-||Pre-Series A||pocket company|
|SpringCloud||Mobility||18 billion||Series A||InfoBank Corp, Mando, Korea Develpoment Bank, Woodreambio, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund|
|GPEX||Blockchain||1.8 billion||Sima Capital|
|Cinnamon company||Kids Content||100 million||Seed||Startupx|
|HIPPO T&C||Digital therapeutics||300 million||Pre-Series A||J Curve Investment, StarQuest Asset Management, Insunginfo|
- Standard Energy, a vanadium-ion battery developer, raised 65 billion won from Lotte Chemical. With lower ignition hazards and higher durability than lithium-ion batteries, vanadium-ion batteries are regarded as the next-generation batteries in the ESS market. Lotte Chemical became Standard Energy’s second-largest stakeholder as a result of this investment. They hope to achieve synergy through collaboration.
- Dealicious, which operates the fashion retail and wholesale trading platform ShinSang Market, raised 54 billion won. It launched the service in 2013, and as of December, the total value of transactions had surpassed 2 trillion won. It will work in full swing for global expansion based on the successful experience of the digital transformation of K-fashion.
- XR developer Virnect secured a 30 billion won investment. It will use the funds to establish an industrial XR ecosystem and to promote itself to advance into global markets. As a leading company in the metaverse market, it is set to go public this year.
The most notable Korean startup M&A deals of 2021
2021 was the most active year ever for the startup M&A market. It was a year of opportunity for startups and investment companies, with startups acquiring startups, startups acquiring middle-market enterprises, and startups being acquired by global companies.
The largest acquisition of this year was the takeover of Hyperconnect by Tinder operator Match Group at $1.72 billion(1.93 trillion won). Following Baedal Minjok, it was another case demonstrating that Korean technology startups can be sold to global companies.
Large companies are actively utilizing startups to expand their business areas and strengthen their competitiveness. To preoccupy the online and offline distribution market, GS Retail purchased Delivery Hero, a delivery app Yogiyo operator, along with private equity funds. Lotte hopes to make a breakthrough in its lagging e-commerce business by acquiring Junggonara.
Kakao bought Tapas Media and Radish, two web novel and webtoon platforms with a global presence, to speed up its entry into the global market. Kakao also bought Croquis, a Zigzag operator, and Grip Company, a live commerce platform to expand its e-commerce business area.
In 2021, the number of acquisitions between startups increased significantly, with unicorns absorbing other startups in particular. Musinsa enhanced its competitiveness in the women’s fashion sector by acquiring StyleShare and 29CM for KRW 300 billion. Startups also took over industry leaders, with Yanolja acquiring a first-generation venture company Interpart for 290 billion won. Yanolja is also accelerating its growth ahead of its IPO by acquiring Sanha IT and Dable. Moreover, Toss operator Viva Republica absorbed VCNC, which was in charge of operating Socar’s Tada division, signaling the birth of a new model that combines finance and mobility.
In addition, meal kit company Fresheasy acquired related companies, including Heodak and Dr. Kitchen, which helps health care like diabetes management. Bunjang also aims to become a unicorn through business expansion by acquiring two used clothes companies.
The reason for the increase in M&A cases is that, in order to respond to rapidly changing market trends, companies adopt a strategy of absorbing external companies that stand out in the market instead of directly conducting new businesses. It wouldn’t have been possible without the abundant financial resources. In the past, most M&A cases took place between companies in the same industry, but now more and more companies are seeking synergy by acquiring companies in other fields. Amid this trend, VCs predict that the number of cases between startups or startups acquiring existing companies will continue to rise in 2022.
Major M&A Deals in 2021
|Company Name||Company Description||Acquisition Cost||Acquiring Company|
|Hyperconnect||Video Messenger||1.93 trillion won||Match Group|
|Delivery Hero||Delivery Platform||800 billion won||GS Retail, Affinity Equity Partners, Permira|
|Tapas Media||Webtoon&Web Novel Platform||600 billion won||Kakao Entertainment|
|Radish||Web Novel Platform||500 billion won||Kakao Entertainment|
|StyleShare||Fashion Platform||300 billion won||Musinsa|
|Interpark||E-commerce||294 billion won||Yanolja|
|Junggonara||Secondhand Marketplace||115 billion won||Lotte, Eugene Asset Management, NH Securities-Opus Private Equity|
|Munpia||Web Novel Platform||Non-disclosure||Naver Webtoon, Premier Partners|
|Millie’s Library||Audiobook||Non-disclosure||Genie Music|
|VCNC||Socar’s Tada division||Non-disclosure||Viva Republica|
|Dr. Kitchen||Healthcare Platform||Non-disclosure||Fresheasy|