#Weekly Funding Overview[April.18 ~ April. 22]
The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 170.4 billion.
|Doubleme||Metaverse||-||Samsung Venture Investment, RHK, coentree investment, BNK Capital, VS Investment, NH, TIMEFOLIO Asset Management|
|Whatssup||Subscription management platform||2.3 billion||Pre-Series A||Korea Investment Partners, Kiwoom Investment, Nextrans|
|RTM||Enterprise AI||8 billion||Series A||Lindeman asia Investmen, Kiwoom Investment, SBI Investment, Bridge Investment L&S Venture Capital, IBK, Medici Investment|
|Quarterback||Robo Advisor||9 billion||Series B||Mirae Asset Venture Investment, KB Investment, Kyobolife planet, Aton|
|Day1company||Education||35 billion||Series D||Mirae Asset Securities, HanhwaLife, Signite Partners, PSTEC|
|Kimcaddie||Golf||7.8 billion||Aju IB Investment, Kolon Investment, Hi Investment Partners, PKSHA Capital, Angle|
|Widebrain||Metaverse||-||Pre-Series A||Korea Investment & Securities, Valuesystem Investment Management, BlissVine Ventures|
|MAYI||AI||1.5 billion||Pre-Series A||Bigbasin Capital, Future Play, ELAND Retail, The Invention lab|
|XL8.AI||AI Translating||-||Future Play|
|Groo||Plant tech||-||Seed||Bon Angels Venture Partners|
|Meta Marketing||Ad tech||43.8 billion||Chorokbaem Healthcare|
|Chunmyung||Fortunetelling||5 billion||Series A||Altos Ventures, Spring Camp|
|CNAI||AI||5 billion||Pre-Series A||Centauri|
|Cellplus Korea||Edge Computing||-||Pre-Series A||ZER01NE, KIBO|
|Boarding Pass||Camping commerce||2 billion||Pre-Series A||Primer sazze partners, Spring Camp,|
|iEX||Energy||2 billion||Seed||Hi Investment Partners, BNK Venture Investment|
|Triz commerce||Commerce MCN||7 billion||Series A||Mirae Asset Securities, IBK, Samho Green Investment, Maple Investment Partners, Albatross Investment|
|SwatchOn||Fabric Market||12 billion||Series B||Kakao Ventures, TBT, Pavilion Capital|
- 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.
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.