Access to the latest Korean startup news and startup database for free
#Weekly Funding Overview[Jan. 17~ Jan.21]
The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 362.4 billion.
|Greenlabs||Smart farm||170 billion||Series C||BRV Capital Mangement, SK square, Skylake|
|Plating||Mealkit subscription||4 billion||Pre-Series A||Jfreshway, Timewise investment, Info Bank, Mash Korea, Strong Ventures|
|Bold9||Fullfillment||5 billion||Series A||Posco Capital, Bailey Private Equity|
|Deepinsight||Deep learning||-||FuturesPlay, Mando|
|TBU||Electronic car charging||-||FuturesPlay, Mando|
|Eta Electronics||Mobility||-||FuturesPlay, Mando|
|Node||Healthcare||-||Seed||CCEI Gangwon, Sopoong Ventures|
|Rootrix||Tree distribution platform||-||Seed||CCEI Gangwon, Sopoong Ventures|
|PROJECT LION||NFT Game||-||Wemade|
|Nextedition||Camping||-||Pre-Series A||Bass Investment, Fast Ventures, Spring Camp|
|Flex||HR||38 billion||Series B||Greenoaks Capital Management, DST Global|
|Ronfic||Digital Healthcare||4.1 billion||Series A||ES Investor, Kosme, Lotte Ventures, Laguna Investment, Kimgisa Company|
|Content Technologies||IP Company builder||17 billion||Pre-Series A||SV Investment, Murex Partners, KB Investment, Maven Growth Partners|
|Olulo||Shared mobility||4 billion||Samchuly|
|Togi||F&B||3.5 billion||GS Group, Saehan Venture Capital|
|JNPMEDI||Medical Data Platform||2 billion||Kakao Ventures, Murex Partners, Aju IB Investment, Gentium Partners|
|Brain Gear||Medical device||-||Seed||CNTTech|
|Welt||Digital therapeutics||5 billion||Series B||IMM Investment|
|Proground||Running Platform||-||Seed||Spring Camp|
|Organica||Foodtech||42.9 billion||CITIC Capital|
|LIFE FESTA||1 billion||Seed||Kona Venture Partners, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund|
|Aeonus||Environment||100 million||Seed||CCEI Jeju, Crypton|
|Opino Marketing||Performance Marketing||-||M&A||Biginsight|
|Paywatch||Fintech||6.3 billion||Third Prime, Sparklabs, WNPartners, CTK Investment,|
|Law&Company||Legal tech||23 billion||Series C||Atinum Investment, DSC Investment, Premier Partners, Smilegate Investment, DS Asset Management, Coolidge Corner Investment|
|Hutom||Medical Platform||17 billion||Series B||IMM Investment, Quantum Ventures Korea, KB Investment, Samsung Venture Investment, Nau IB Capital, Korea Investment Partners|
|Halfz||Startup platform||6.3 billion||Hashed, Donghoon Investment, NextG Investment|
|Ndotlight||Metaverse||-||Naver D2SF, Kakao Investment|
|Block odyssey||Blockchain||5 billion||Shinhan Capital|
|Gomi Corporation||Vietnam ecommerce||3 billion||Series B||The Invention Lab|
|Bitglim||Digital IP||-||Seed||The Invention Lab|
|icore||Vision computing||-||Korea Credit Guarantee Fund|
|Nfusion||Game||4.2 billion||KB Investment, Hanwha Investment & Securities, Timewise investment, Laguna Investment, ID Ventures, ISU Venture Capital,Seoul Business Agency|
|Step Pay||Subscription solution||-||GRANT||TIPS|
|Scalar data||Electronic car||-||Seed||CNTTech|
|Corner Market||Kids online shopping||-||Joongonara|
|SN Mobile Technology||Fandom platform||-||Hana Financial Investment|
|SeaWith||Cultured meat||1 billion||Series A||Mint Venture Partners|
|Klaycity||NFT Game||-||Friends Games|
|Amond Company||Fandom platform||-||Playgram|
|Umclass||Activity Platform||-||Seed||Oneday Class|
- AgTech startup Green Labs raised a 170 billion won series C investment. The company operates agricultural data service Farm Morning and fresh produce marketplace Sinsun Market, realizing the digital transformation of the agricultural and livestock industry.
- HR platform Flex raised 38 billion won in Series B investment. It is an HR SaaS that provides the necessary functions for overall corporate personnel management, winning over 30,000 customers within two years of launch
- Law&Company, a legal service LawTalk operator, secured an investment of 23 billion won in Series C. Its service is still growing despite regulations on online legal platforms. The total number of consultations amounted to 640,000, and the average monthly visitors reached 970,000 in 2021.
- FoodTech startup Organica secured $36 million. It has expanded its scope to include simple meals and plant-based meat alternatives, now supplying its products to Starbucks and Costco. The funds will be used to advance into the Chinese and global markets and develop meat alternatives.
Top 10 Korean startup stories of 2021
1. The largest investment ever in Korean startups, raising 1 trillion won per month
In 2021, more than 12 trillion won flowed into startups, marking the highest performance ever. The figure nearly tripled compared to 2020. It is the first time that more than 1 trillion won has been invested in startups per month. The venture investment ecosystem has enjoyed an all-time boom with a substantial inflow of investment, more than 1 trillion won from May to August in a row and December.
2. Coupang’s Listing on the NYSE
Coupang, an e-commerce platform established in 2010, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, making it a company worth 100 trillion won. It was recorded as the first NYSE-listed Korean startup, showing the elevated status of Korean startups in the global market.
3. Introduction of multiple voting rights put on hold
The multiple voting rights are being discussed along with the successful listing of Coupang. There have once again been growing calls for allowing multiple voting rights over Coupang’s move to the U.S., where the multiple voting system is allowed to attract investment and defend management rights. The introduction of multiple voting rights has been put on hold in the National Assembly.
4. Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) being permitted
As general holding companies of large corporations are allowed to own corporate venture capital (CVC), it is expected that large corporations will invest more actively in startups.
5. Conflicts over online platform regulations
Conflicts between online platform startups and professional groups are underway, such as LawTalk (legal service) and the Korean Bar Association, DoctorNow (remote treatment and drug delivery) and the Korean Pharmaceutical Association, and Gangnam Unnie (plastic surgery reviews) and the Korean Medical Association. The ruling party is pushing for a bill on the fairness of online platform brokerage transactions, raising new regulatory issues.
6. The arrival of the online investment-linked financial companies
P2P financial companies, formerly known as loan businesses, were incorporated into institutional financial firms through the Act on the Online Investment-linked Financial Business. The first online investment-linked financial companies were registered in June 2021. They attracted large-scale investments one after another, raising expectations toward the P2P lending sector.
7. Global Capital Inflow
2021 was the year when large foreign capital flowed into the Korean startup market. Following the sale of Hyperconnect, overseas investors paid attention to unicorns such as Yanolja, Ruiid, Market Kurly, and Carrot Market, as well as soon-to-be unicorns.
8. M&As between startups
There were many cases where startups grew in size through acquisitions. Especially, unicorn companies such as Yanolja, Kurly, Zigbang, Viva Republica, and Socar acquired heterogeneous startups to improve competitiveness and enter new businesses.
9. The war for talent
Startups have started to secure outstanding talent by offering higher starting salaries, stock options, and even shining bonuses than large corporations. As the investment market is revitalized, technology startups with deep pockets are absorbing talent using the funds. In the first half of the year, the war for IT manpower spread throughout the industry, with companies fighting for developers with high salaries as weapons.
10. The rise of Metaverse
Due to COVID-19, non-face-to-face communication has become the new normal, and Metaverse platforms that use virtual reality have gotten a lot of interest around the world. A considerable amount of money was also invested in related companies in Korea.