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[StartupRecipe] Which startups have Korean conglomerates invested in?

#Weekly Funding Overview

[July.47~ July. 8]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 138.2 billion.

fanagementGlobalfancommerce1.2 billionMain Street Investment
RAFIQ CosmeticsBeauty4 billionSeries AQuantum Ventures, Hana Ventures, Enlight Ventures
MonolabsDigitalhealthcare12.5 billionSeries BMain Street Investment, Chungho Nice, CTK Investment, HMG
Scalar dataElectronic car charging-T Investment
mayoubeKids platform-Pre-Series AXntree Ventures, Pusan National University Technology Holdings, Busan united holdings
Future ConncetSmartfarm5.4 billionPre-Series AKB Investment, Hana Ventures, Hyundai Motor Zero One, IP Ventures
Jennerbio-SeedKorea Social Investment Foundation
HumealVegan milk-SeedCNTTech
TosslabCollaboration tool1.5 billionHancom Inc
ZigbangProphtech100 billionKDB Development Bank, IMM Investment, Hana Financial Investment
uh2saEcommerce-primer sazze patners
The Vplanetonline marketing-Bluepointpartners
Togle LabsShopingmall soultion-Pre-Series AKIBO, Hana Bank, Strong Ventures
Freed groupSmart commerce18.7 billionSeries BACA Investment, HKSTP CVF, SOSV, Musketeer Capital, Chinachem group,
TeamfreshLogistics160 billionSeries DMurex Partners, Daol Investment, IP Ventures, Woori Bank, KT, Stick Investment, Daol Private Equity, KDB Development Bank
GibillionsPremium dental product-SeedSpark Labs, One Billion Partners, 1004 Partners
link12Education850 millionPre-Series AAngels
DayworkplusGeekworker payment-Pre-Series ADigital trust partners
Nangman storeFoodtech-SeedSpring Camp
MeissaContech5.5 billionSeries B
BzznbydYoutube searching engine2.5 billionSeries AJYP Entertainment, KDB Development Bank, Korea Venture Investment
EnoughuBaby care platform-SeedPostech holdings, Korea Univesity Technology Holdings
SYMhealthcareDigital therapeutics300 millionAI Angel Club, Korea Venture Investment
AMPKpop-Hexagon Investment Consulting
Gengen aiAI-SeedNAVER D2SF, Schmidt, DSC Investment
PhotowidzMobilelife service3.5 billionSeries ASM Entertainment Group, A-Ventures
KostMICE-Pre-Series ANBH Capital
BuffitseoulFitness3.1 billionCritventures, BA Partners, Bokwang Ventures capital
Uju-munbangguContent600 millionSeedMark & Company, Laguna Investment
Team MonolithCoding School-SeedMashup Angels
MarketboroFoodtech40.3 billionCJ Freshway

Major Funding

  • Planetarium Labs has received KRW 41.5 billion investment, with its corporate value exceeding KRW 300 billion. As a blockchain-based RPG Nine Chronicles developer, it developed its own blockchain game engine and implemented it into its games, providing decentralized games without a central server.
  • CryptoLab, a company specializing in encryption technology, has raised KRW 21 billion. With the original patent for homomorphic encryption technology, it developed HEaaN, a product based on the 4th generation of encryption technology. The company will promote technology advancement and overseas expansion with this funding.
  •  Automobile aftermarket Cardoc has secured KRW 14 billion in funds. It aims to become a super app that integrates various services, like auto insurance, tires, and maintenance, into a single application.

#Trend Analysis

Which startups have Korean conglomerates invested in?

Large corporations are partnering with startups to secure new growth engines. Rather than focusing on investment returns, conglomerates are investing in startups that can generate synergy in line with their strategic direction.

KT has invested in startups in various fields to expand new businesses and enhance its competitiveness. It has also announced its plan to invest KRW 3 trillion in discovering and nurturing startups within five years. Rebellions, a startup in AI semiconductors, recently received a strategic investment from KT worth KRW 30 billion. They will collaborate on next-generation AI semiconductor design, verification, and large-capacity language models to introduce AI semiconductors next year and apply them to Internet data centers(IDC). KT has also invested KRW 130 billion in Megazone Cloud and is collaborating in cloud businesses, such as establishing an AI contact center platform.

KT has invested KRW 55.3 billion in logistics startup Team Fresh and became the second-largest shareholder. After establishing Lolab, its subsidiary specializing in logistics, last year, KT is strategically investing in Team Fresh, a cold chain logistics company, and expanding its digital logistics business.

CJ Group is also investing in startups to cooperate with its affiliates. CJ ENM made a strategic investment of KRW 20 billion in the luxury e-commerce Must It in order to build synergy through producing entertainment content in addition to commerce business. CJ looks forward to generating a synergy effect through joint cooperation between Must It, whose customers base in their 20s and 30s, and CJ OnStyle, a commerce channel of CJ ENM with customers in their 40s and 50s.

BeMyFriends has received an investment of KRW 22.4 billion from CJ and collaborates with various projects and infrastructures of CJ affiliates in the creator economy business. BeMyFriends offers a global service that enables creators to develop a fandom platform, and it is anticipated that this will lead to synergy in CJ’s entertainment industry. CJ Freshway placed a KRW 40.3 billion bet on Marketboro, a food distribution startup. This investment can be viewed as a means of securing the capabilities necessary to preoccupy the future food distribution market as part of the digital transformation strategy announced last year.

In order to assure competitiveness, Lotte Group is implementing a consistent approach across all of its affiliates by acquiring and funding startups. In March, it made a strategic investment of KRW 183.2 billion in Socar and secured 13.9% of its stake to become the third-largest shareholder. In an effort to engage in the mobility sector, Lotte Chemical invested KRW 65 billion in Standard Energy, a startup developing next-generation vanadium batteries. In addition, Lotte Group recently invested KRW 5 billion in Blocko to start the NFT business. 

Shinhan Financial Group made a strategic investment of KRW 10 billion in a remodeling startup Apartmentary in April. Through this investment, they plan to collaborate in various fields, from providing financial services such as installment financing for consumers and developing interior packages tailored to senior customers in connection with the group’s digital healthcare business. Shinhan Financial Group has created a fund worth KRW 300 billion for startup investment and is fostering and discovering startups through various acceleration programs.

CompanySectorInvestment (Unit:KRW 100 million)Investor
SocarMobility1,832Lotte rental
Megazone CloudCloud1,300KT
Parking CloudParking platform1,000SK E&S, NHN
Standard EnergyVanadium ion battery650Lotte Chemical
HeginMobile game500SKT, SK Square
TeamfreshColdchain logistics553KT
MarketboroFoodtech403CJ Freshyway
RebelionAI Chip300KT
BemyfriendsGlobal Fandom Platform224CJ, CJ Olivenetworks
MustitLuxyry Platform200CJ ENM
EVR StudioMetaverse170Cheil
Block odysseyBlockchain108SK Networks
ApartmentaryInterior100Shinhan financial Group
Music cowFintech60Hanwha System

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