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[StartupRecipe] Rising Korean Education Startups

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Dec. 3~ Dec.7]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW  569.1 billion.

CloudnBuilding management-Seoul Techno Holdings
BlueSignumMental healthcare-Spring Camp
Kokoa FinanceBlockchain-Krust
Amazing BrewingCraft Beer-Kakao Investment
SoftberryMobility-Series ASK, Hyundai Mortors
FoodpangFood11 billionSeries BKorea Develpoment Bank, Hana Bnak, SBI Investment Korea, Industrial bank of Korea
LANGSTUDYCAFEStudycafe-Hexagon Investment
KeybasicPettech-Pre-Series AHana Ventures
Buysell StandardFintech4.3 billionPre-Series AKB Investment, Hana Ventures, New Paradigm Investment, Nextdream angelclub, CNTTech
AroundableRental Platform-Series AThewells Investment, IBK
Copin communicationsDigital Contents50.4 billionNPX Capital
AIKOREA7 billionPre-IPOTimefolio Asset Management, InterValue Partners, APR Partners
RgblabDrone50 millionPre-Series ACrypton, JEJU ICEE
RecleRecycling-SeedThe Ventures
Sir'sMan's health-SeedMashup Angels
Somssidang CompanyOnline class4 billionSeries A"Spring Camp, KB KOOKMIN CARD, Capstone Partners, Lighthouse Combined Investment Coolidge Corner Investment, "
MetsakuurAI8 billionSeries AKorea growth investment, Kiwoom Investment, L&S Venture Capital, KB KOOKMIN CARD
Bungaejangter82 billionShinhan Financial Group, Praxis Capital, Atinum Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Signite Partners
Craft TechnologiesFintech175 billionSoftbank
DatarizeMarketing11.5 billionSeries AStonebridge Ventures, NaverD2SF, Weventures, Korea Development Bank, Mirae asset venture
CoffeepotBiz newsletter-Stibee
MBI SolustionCS Solution4 billionNaver Clova
BoostersBrand aggregater12 billionSeries AS&S Investmetn,
Amaze VRVR/AR18 billionPre-Series BPartners Investment, GS Futrures, Smilegate Investment,Smilegate Investment, ABC Partners, Everrich Group
ElysiaBlockchain1.2 billionFBG Capital
TissenBioFarmCultured meat500 millionSeedMirae Holdings
Life on KoreaInterior-SeedCNTTech
ParadotContent-SeedMashup Angels
WillogLogistics-Series A2Hanwha Securities
EVR StudioDigital Contents-Pre-IPO
CookatFoodtech55 billionM&AGS Retail
SkimsbioBio/Healthcare2 billionPre-Series AKibo
ORGANOID SCIENCESBio/Healthcare-Series BE&Venture Partners, Company K Partners, LB Investment, Atinum Investment, Aju IB Investment
Nine CorportationNFT Game-Binance Labs
TruevalueCareer Plan Platform-Korea Venture Investment
MacovillContent13 billionSeries AHive, companyKPartners, Laguna Investment, KJ&Partners, Mirea Asset, Smartstudy, Spring Camp, Cona Venture Partners
BemycarMobility10 billionREAL MCCOY
BarogoLast mile delivery50 billionKeistone Partners

Major Funding

  • AI FinTech startup Qraft Technologies raised 175 billion won from Softbank. They plan to collaborate by incorporating the AI model into SoftBank’s listed stock portfolio management.
  • Delivery platform Barogo secured 50 billion won, acquiring an additional investment after raising 90 billion won last year. The funds will be used to develop its new business, to make M&As, and to expand its quick-commerce service Tengo. 
  • Bunjang (Bungaejangter) received an investment of 82 billion won, with Shinsegae joining as a new investor.  The company plans to improve service quality within categories, enhance competitiveness in payment and delivery services, and develop authentication services for used products, including luxury goods. 
  • Food startup Cookat was acquired by GS Retail for 55 billion won. GS Retail seeks to build synergy between its offline platforms and Cookat by incorporating Cookat as a subsidiary, as well as attract MZ generation customers.

#Trend Analysis

Rising Korean Education Startups

Edtech is the field that has seen the most changes and opportunities due to COVID-19. As the education method rapidly shifted from offline to online, companies that successfully implemented a non-face-to-face education environment stood out in the investment market. There have been no famous edtech companies in Korea, despite the country’s enormous and well-developed private education market. Only a few private tutoring companies in the English education sector shone out. Edtech companies have not attracted large-scale investments, and their corporate value was relatively low compared to global companies. There were no unicorn companies, of course. Things changed a little in 2021. AI-based edtech services began to show visible results as they progressed into the growth phase. They also secured global users, drawing attention from overseas VCs.

An AI education platform Ruiid secured the largest funds in 2021, raising 200 billion won. The fact that it attracted exclusive investment from Softbank Vision Fund 2 drew even more attention.

It was the third Korean startup to receive Softbank’s sole investment after Coupang and IYUNO Media, which is significant in terms of being recognized for its potential to succeed in the global market. In addition, Mathpresso, which operates the math problem-solving app Qanda, attracted a large-scale investment of 56 billion won thanks to its AI technology and global service. Mathpresso has been acknowledged for its global competitiveness, with it ranking #1 in the education app charts in 20 countries. Ringle, which enables 1:1 English conversation with Ivy League talent, also stood out in the global market, securing 20 billion won in 2021. Around 30% of Ringle’s 100,000 users live outside of South Korea. 

As the number of people stuck at home increased due to COVID-19, services that integrate educational content with hobbies and self-development have also attracted investment. Class101 (raised 30 billion won) and Tal-ing (raised 14.7 billion won) are two examples of companies that offer online courses as well as hobby kits. Some services have taken advantage of the COVID-19. They are child education services that bridge the childcare gap and support children’s education. Both Jaranda (raised 9.7 billion won) and Tictoccroc (raised 7 billion won) grew under the influence of pandemics and were successful in drawing investment.

Companies that innovate the private education market using digital tools and apps suitable for non-face-to-face education have also been in the spotlight. A representative company is Onuii, which provides online tutoring. Seoltab by Onuii, also known as iPad tutoring, is characterized by real-time sharing of textbook screens and voices with an iPad, as well as providing their own content and smart tools to manage overall learning procedures.

Moreover, the online education platforms Day1 Company (raising 10 billion won) and CodeIt (raising 10 billion won), which provide education services for adults to help career transition, secured funds due to the influence of COVID-19.

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