Scroll to top
© 2020, Startuprecipe theme by Rssow

[StartupRecipe] Fandom Platform and Creator Economy

#Weekly Funding Overview

[April.18 ~ April. 22]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 170.4 billion.

DoublemeMetaverse-Samsung Venture Investment, RHK, coentree investment, BNK Capital, VS Investment, NH, TIMEFOLIO Asset Management
WhatssupSubscription management platform2.3 billionPre-Series AKorea Investment Partners, Kiwoom Investment, Nextrans
RTMEnterprise AI8 billionSeries ALindeman asia Investmen, Kiwoom Investment, SBI Investment, Bridge Investment L&S Venture Capital, IBK, Medici Investment
QuarterbackRobo Advisor9 billionSeries BMirae Asset Venture Investment, KB Investment, Kyobolife planet, Aton
HitbimNocode Appbuilder-GRANTTIPS
Day1companyEducation35 billionSeries DMirae Asset Securities, HanhwaLife, Signite Partners, PSTEC
KimcaddieGolf7.8 billionAju IB Investment, Kolon Investment, Hi Investment Partners, PKSHA Capital, Angle
WidebrainMetaverse-Pre-Series AKorea Investment & Securities, Valuesystem Investment Management, BlissVine Ventures
MAYIAI1.5 billionPre-Series ABigbasin Capital, Future Play, ELAND Retail, The Invention lab
XL8.AIAI Translating-Future Play
GrooPlant tech-SeedBon Angels Venture Partners
Meta MarketingAd tech43.8 billionChorokbaem Healthcare
ProidHealthcare-SeedKakao Ventures
LudencityFashion-SeedMashup Angels
ChunmyungFortunetelling5 billionSeries AAltos Ventures, Spring Camp
CNAIAI5 billionPre-Series ACentauri
Cellplus KoreaEdge Computing-Pre-Series AZER01NE, KIBO
Boarding PassCamping commerce2 billionPre-Series APrimer sazze partners, Spring Camp,
iEXEnergy2 billionSeedHi Investment Partners, BNK Venture Investment
Triz commerceCommerce MCN7 billionSeries AMirae Asset Securities, IBK, Samho Green Investment, Maple Investment Partners, Albatross Investment
SwatchOnFabric Market12 billionSeries BKakao Ventures, TBT, Pavilion Capital

Major Funding

  • Day1 Company, an adult education content company, has received a KRW 35 billion investment, bringing the total raised to KRW 65 billion. It operates online job training, foreign language training, and job training services. The sales record amounted to KRW 99.4 billion in 2021. Its goal is to gain the highest market share in corporate education by discovering new adult education areas and focusing on the B2B market.
  • Metaverse platform DoubleMe has obtained KRW 30 billion in investment. The company developed the metaverse service Twin World, building twin worlds in 17 cities and 26 places.
  • Global fabric wholesale platform Swatchon has raised KRW 12 billion in funding. It operates a marketplace that allows fashion brands to search for and purchase fabrics and materials. The majority of sales are from overseas markets. This year, it also runs digital clothing production and sales services, entering the digital fashion market.

#Trend Analysis

Fandom Platform and Creator Economy

The fandom platforms have recently announced their large-scale funding rounds. Fandom platforms, operated by large entertainment companies such as HYBE’s Weverse and SM Entertainment’s Dear U Bubble, have grown the market with K-pop artists. Startups have decided to join this field, following the popularity of K-content.

Fandom platforms are growing rapidly as non-face-to-face platforms have come into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are drawing keen attention from investors due to the possibility of various business expansions in combination with metaverse and NFT, which have become magnets for investments.

Such fandom platforms can be seen as an axis of the creator economy industry where anyone can earn profits from their own content. There are mainly platforms based on celebrities from large entertainment agencies or services that support star YouTubers or creators in various fields in Korea.

One of the most popular fandom platforms is Makestar, which secured KRW 14 billion last year. It began as a crowdfunding project that connects Korean stars and global fans, and has now become a service that is more known abroad than in Korea. The company revealed its plan to push for future NFT businesses when announcing the funding last year.

Platforms for individual creators are also gaining popularity. They serve to support creators who lack experience in running a business, such as arranging fan meetings and supporting monetization.

Bemyfriends received the latest investment in the field, completing a funding round of KRW 100 billion. The company was founded by the experts who created Weverse at HYBE. It officially launched b.stage, a global service where anyone can create a fandom platform, and also announced plans to introduce NFT technology.

Bigc, a service that allows creators to make and operate their own pages like arranging fan meetings, raised KRW 4.5 billion from Naver D2SF alone in seed investment. Dancer Aiki participated in the first fan meeting. Fanding also secured KRW 2 billion for its creator fandom service, which provides exclusive content and fan services. It supports sustainable monetization for creators through sponsorship, such as membership subscriptions and merchandise sales.

The Web3-based creator platform has also appeared. Lagood Company Global, the operator of MyBias, a fan community service that supports creators, recently received KRW 1.5 billion in seed investment.

There are a variety of models overseas. Some have reached unicorn status, including Patreon, a sponsorship platform for creators, and Cameo, a star-based service where you can receive congratulatory messages from celebrities. Fintech company Karat developed a credit rating model for creators.

There is no unicorn startup yet in Korea, and business models are not as diverse as overseas. However, fandom platforms are expected to grow further. More and more creators are trying to monetize their content using multiple platforms and branding based on strong fandom is becoming more important in various areas.

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter


Access to the latest Korean startup news and startup database for free

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter