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[StartupRecipe] Investment rush set to continue in 2022

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Jan. 31~ Feb.4]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW  66.5 billion.

Gadget KoreaRoaming data platform-Seed1004 Partners, 1billion partners
Kronos DAOBlockchain-Krust
OPTIMUS BILLIARD AGENCYBilliard Platform-SeedY&Archer
KukkaFlower subscription2 billionSeries BYuantainvestment
Pocholdings-SeedStrong Ventures
SeshatEBOOK Platform-SeedStrong Ventures
Berg & RidgePettech-SeedHana Venture field WM
EpapyrusE-document22.5 billionSeries ACentral Investment Partners, Hana Ventures, Kolon Investment, TS Investment, Ubiquoss Invesmtent, Bokwang Venture Capital, PathfinderH
AIFACTORYAI1 billionPre-Series APathfinderH
QueenitFashion36 billionSeries BAtinum Investment, Kakao Ventures, Softbank Ventures, Companyk partners, Klim Ventures
GowidFintech5 billionHashed

Major Funding

  • Queenit, a fashion platform for women in their 40s and 50s, has received 36 billion won in series B funding. Launched in 2020, it successfully attracted investment only six months after securing 10 billion won last year. It has raised 51.5 billion won in total.
  • B2B FinTech company Gowid has raised 5 billion won. It has won over 3,000 customers with corporate cards for startups using an alternative credit rating model.

#Trend Analysis

[Funding Report] Investment rush set to continue in 2022

In January, the investment rush of the previous year continued, with more than 1 trillion won poured into Korean startups.

164 investments have been made, and the total amount of funds reached 1.32 trillion won. The number of investments decreased compared to December, but there was no significant difference in terms of amount. It is noteworthy that more funds are flocking to a small number of startups with growth potential. More funds are being invested in companies that have attracted large-scale investments in 2021, and the funds raised by 30 companies that secured more than 10 billion won accounted for 88% of the total amount.

The largest funds went to Qraft Technologies, an AI FinTech startup that secured 1,700 billion won. The company drew attention by attracting sole investment from Softbank. Its AI model will reportedly be used to manage SoftBank’s listed stock portfolio.

Sector-wise, the most funds were invested in consumer technology, where the hottest items like second-hand trading and fashion startups belong. FinTech and agriculture were next in the rankings. These sectors had only four and one investment each, but they took the top spots with investments amounting to 170 billion won. In addition, as the autonomous driving sector is in the spotlight, a large amount of money has flowed into mobility startups.

There was also an influx of new global venture capital. While Softbank, which invested in Craft Technologies, increased its investment in Korea, Greenoaks Capital and DST Global invested 38 billion won in HR company Flex. BRV Capital Management led the investment of 170 billion won for Green Labs. Moreover, overseas funds are steadily flowing into the blockchain sector. Nine Corporation, which develops blockchain-based P2E games, has secured investment from Binance Labs.

The number of mergers and acquisitions is increasing every month. Fresheasy, Korea’s No. 1 HRM company, acquired two HRM companies, Tasty9 and Heodak, in January alone. Yanolja acquired Spoqa’s Dodo Point division, while Zigbang acquired Samsung SDS’s Home IoT division. As in the case above, some startups are acquiring multiple companies at once to grow in size and expand the value chain. The cases of taking over only certain sectors of companies have been increasing since last year as well.

TOP 3  Most-funded startups

1. AI FinTech Startup Qraft Technologies has listed AI ETFs on the New York Stock Exchange, providing AI asset management solutions to securities firms and financial companies based on its own deep learning algorithm.

2. Smart farming startup Green Labs operates a fresh distribution service that brokers producers and buyers with a comprehensive agricultural platform Farm Morning as its main service. It promotes digital transformation in the agricultural sector and participates in the entire process from crop production to distribution.

3. Jinmobility is a mobility company that operates a large van-taxi i.M. It supports driver-customer matching through an AI-based allocation algorithm.

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