Scroll to top
© 2020, Startuprecipe theme by Rssow

[StartupRecipe] Investment in Korean startups starts to decline

#Weekly Funding Overview

[May. 30~ June. 3]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW  159.2billion.

SOFTPVSolar energy3.7 billionSeries AWithUs Venture Capital
Flying CatQuick commerce4 billionPre-Series AYcombinator, Tekton Ventures, JAM Fund, Strong Ventures
RebellionsAI Semiconductor62 billionSeries AKDB Development Bank, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, SV Investment, IMM Investment, KB Investment, KT Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Kakao Ventures, Jiyu Investment, Seoul National University Technology Holdings, Pavilion Capital
INSTANTFUNKFashion brand-M&ADirectors Company
ICTCOMPLIANCEKorea Certification-Pre-Series AAju IB
LUXURY&ALLClothes repair platform-Credit Guarantee Fund
BlinkersWine NFT1.5 billionPre-Series AKB Investment, Future Play, DCamp
NewbaseHealthcare4 billionSeries ABNH Investment, Devsisters Ventures, Time Folio Asset Management, Digital Healthcare Partners
MyFranchiseOnline franchise9.5 billionSeries BDaol Investment. IMM Investment, Kolon Investment, Breeze Investment, Company K Partners, NaverD2SF, Laguna Investment
Dr.NowTelehealth40 billionSeries BSoftbank Ventures, Saehan Venture Capital, Hashed, Crit Ventures, Primer, Mirae Asset Capital, N Partners, Goodwater Capital, Smart Study Ventures, Spring Ventures
BC LabsCrypto platform5 billionSeries ACompany K Partners, KB Investment, Softbank Ventures
QuadMedicineHealthcare15 billionSeries CKiwoom Investment, Shinhan Venture Investment, Hanlim Pharmaceutical, Guangdong Pharmaceutical
Brightonix ImagingHealthcare6 billionSeries AHana Ventures, TS Investment
Future scole500 millionImpactSquare
naivySocial Audio-Pre-Series AContent Technologies
My ChefMealkit-M&AKorean Air C&D
The Great ShowDrama Studio-M&AWhynotmedia
AZMTHotel solution-Woomi Global
HesedeurisjiEmployee benefits-Angels
WhattimeCalendar solution-SeedWanted Lab, The Ventures
MangoBoostData Processing Unit13 billionSeedStone Bridge Ventures, DSC Investment, Must Ventures, IM Capital Partners
GrampusGame10 billionSeries BGXC, Kaura

Major Funding

  • AI semiconductor design startup Rebellions has secured KRW 62 billion investment. Established in September 2020, Rebellions was valued at KRW 350 billion and has raised a total of KRW 100 billion through this investment. It will recruit talent and promote global expansion, including the establishment of a US office.
  • Telemedicine platform Dr. Now has raised KRW 40 billion in Series B funding, with its corporate value of KRW 200 billion. The service has 5.6 million users since its service launch at the end of 2020. It plans to diversify its services to include everything from disease prevention to health care.
  • Online enterprise platform MyFranchise has received an investment of KRW 9.5 billion. It developed a platform that connects franchise headquarters and prospective founders based on enterprise data. It offers  a variety of services, including business area analysis. 

#Trend Analysis

Investment in Korean startups starts to decline

There were 131 investment cases in May, with a total investment amount of KRW 913.45 billion. It is noteworthy that the investment amount decreased for the first time compared to the same period last year. Investment performance has slowed down this year, but it has always been higher than the same month last year. However, the figure fell by 48% in May when compared to the same period in 2021. In contrast to May of last year, when Korean startups began raising KRW 1 trillion each month, the amount of investment failed to exceed KRW 1 trillion from March this year.

The most-funded startup in May is Bucket Place, the operator of OHouse. It reached unicorn status last year and officially announced its funding round of KRW 230 billion. The company was valued at KRW 2 trillion. Game developer Haegin and new drug developer Amyloid Solution also secured KRW 50 billion and KRW 45 billion, respectively.

By sector, the largest amount of funds flowed to PropTech thanks to Bucket Place, which drew large-scale investment. The bio/healthcare sector, which has seen investment stagnate this year, ranked high in a long time. It is because new drug development companies preparing for IPO raked in investment, kicking the sector up a notch.

Although companies raising more than KRW 100 billion have been dwindling in numbers, funds continue to flow into the early-stage startups. It was found that 57% of the total funds are concentrated in Pre-Seed to Series A startups.

In May, nine female-owned companies in the fields of interior design, robots, fintech, and content raised KRW 65.4 billion. Investors that favored early-stage startups are now gradually expanding their focus to companies in the growth stage. As a result, more and more well-funded companies with women founders are reaching high rankings. Interior remodeling platform Apartmentary secured the most funds in May, raising KRW 30 billion.

When analyzing the startup investment environment from January to May of this year, the Korean startup market does not appear to show any signs of a sharp downturn seen in the global market. There have been no significant cases of hiring freezes or layoffs. The job market is, if anything, more active in securing talent. However, it is true that investment is gradually declining, and investors are taking a wait-and-see approach to companies. Furthermore, the number shows a decrease in investment in companies in their growth stage. It follows the global trend of focusing investments on early-stage startups. The national investment revitalization policy, such as fund-of-funds, is one of the reasons why the Korean startup investment market differs from the global market. While there will be adjustments in terms of corporate value, there will be no change in the startup activation policy.

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter


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

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter