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[StartupRecipe] K-Startups Leap into Global Unicorns

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Sep. 19~ Sep. 23]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 91.5billion.

FRONT9Apartment concierge-GRANTTIPS
Horizon technologyAsset management-GRANTTIPS
Data monstersFashion-GRANTTIPS
LazysocietyMen's lifecare-Yoonji
FooddashIT Solution4 billionKyochon F&B
UnvailedWEB3-SeedBlue Point Partners, Stron Ventures,
JuiceMusic5.1 billionGinie music
GrooPlant tech-GRANTTIPS
BoomcoL2E-Klaytn universe fund
NaeyiluliSenior care-GrantTIPS
100%Smartphone1.5 billionBSK Investment
Ascent KoreaIntent marketing3.5 billionSeries AShinhan Investment, Daol Investment
BitsensingRadar14 billionSeries AAFWPartners, Arges Private Equity, MANDO
Blank CorporationCommerce20 billionSeries BHotelLotte, Kream
CinamonVisual Story14 billionNaverz, Crafton, Snow
Superb AIAI22 billionSeries B1Premier Partners, Duke University, KT Investment, KDB Development Bank, KT&G, Halla Group
PairyCS Solution-SeedSpring Camp
QuantifiedESGESG research2.4 billionCKD Venture Capital, KB Investment, Kingsley Capital Partners
PeakpayPayment management-SeedThe Ventures
NosearchConsumer product Curation3 billionPre-Series ASBI Investment, CJ Investment
Helper roboticsServing Robotics-SeedCNTTech
HandleSendhand car-SeedSparklab
ToonsquareAI webtoon-Series AIPX, CNTUS Invest ,
DansaekFemtech2 billionSeries AWise planet company, NBH Capital,

Major Funding

  • Superb AI has secured KRW 22 billion in Series B investment. It offers an AI learning data platform Suite that automates massive data preparation tasks to build and supplement datasets. It plans to upgrade its technology with the funds.
  • Brand commerce Blank Corporation has raised KRW 20 billion in strategic investment. The company plans to accelerate its brand IP business and character IP business by securing licenses from global IP distributors.
  • Visual story platform Cinamon has received a KRW 14 billion investment. It is developing a platform for user-made 3D content. It has the expertise in interactive storytelling, which is anticipated to generate synergy with its investors, Krafton and Snow.
  • BitSensing, which provides imaging radar solutions, has secured a KRW 14 billion investment. The team will upgrade its radar solutions and services for each business area, promote business expansion, and advance into the global market.

#Trend Analysis

The government hosted the Korea-U.S. Startup Summit at Pier 17 in New York to encourage K-startups’ global expansion. This event was promoted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups to establish a global network and expand overseas bases for K-startups as a part of the K-startup global advancement strategy. Starting with the Korea-U.S. Startup Summit, the government will step up its efforts to support the K-startups’ global expansion.

Ten activities, including networking, demo day, investor attraction, etc. were offered throughout the course of the two days. At the startup booths, the companies fostered by three major enterprises—Google, Hyundai Motors, and Naver Cloud—presented themselves to global companies and venture capital firms. Korean unicorns like IGAWorks and Bucket Place shared their success stories. Korean unicorns like IGAWorks and Bucket Place, presented their success stories. About 20 startups gave presentations during the demo day’s two sessions. At the summit, the government will also sign agreements with three international venture capital firms and establish a $215 million joint fund to support K-startups.

Additionally, the Seoul Metropolitan Government supported the international growth of K-startups by sponsoring a pitch event in Silicon Valley to help Korean FinTech companies attract funding, in collaboration with KOTRA and the Financial Supervisory Service. Four selected startups, which are Aiji Net, Spiceware, Horizon Technologies, and AIZEN Global, participated in the IR session.

The two-day Korea-U.S. Startup Summit provided an opportunity to reiterate the will of people in the startup ecosystems from both Korea and the U.S. to support startups, according to Lee Young, Minister of SMEs and Startups. “We hope K-startups advance worldwide and develop into global unicorns based on the Korea-US cooperation,” the minister added.

<Some of the participating companies>

5 Companies Backed by Naver Cloud

  • The MORAI: develops autonomous driving simulation platforms.
  • Argosdyne: builds 5G-based drone control solutions.
  • FutureMain: provides smart factory solutions that implement predictive maintenance for facility management.
  • ARIA Edge: develops advanced AR technology for industrial factories. 
  • I-ESG: offers B2B digital solutions specializing in ESG management.

4 Companies Backed by Google

  • Blip (Space Oddity), a platform for K-POP fandoms
  • Solitaire Farm Village (Sticky Hands Inc), a mobile game 
  • Teuida, an application for learning the Korean language
  • Hero Factory (PLAYHARD), a mobile game

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