Scroll to top
© 2020, Startuprecipe theme by Rssow

[StartupRecipe] Three Investors Give Startups Survival Tips In The Downturn

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Oct. 24 ~ Oct. 28 ]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 41.7 billion.

9docSubscription700 millionSeedMark & Company, Newplight
Lighters CompanyKPOP Content-APPS3113
JienemAccomodation5.5 billionSeries ACapstone Partners, BNK Venture Investment, KBridge Investment
SijeFashion300 millionSeedKOSMES
LYCLEOutdoor2 billionLaguna Investment, Strong Ventures, KODIT
DaytripTravel content2.3 billionPre-Series ABass Investment
TechyCouple Matching-SeedKodit
Kristin CompanyFashion tech3 billionKIBO, KOSMES, Hanseyes 24 Partners, CNT Tech
Z.aiAI1.5 billionPre-Series APrimer Sazze Partners
GsfsystemSmart farm600 millionSeedGyeongnam CCEI, Series Ventures. CNT Tech, MYSC
Buen CaminoFintech-GRANTTIPS
CLE3D Machine vision-SeedFutureplay, Shinhan Capital
Wishketfreelancer matching6 billionSeries BMurex Partners, Crit Ventures, Shinhan Capital
Next SqaureEnergy5 billionSeries BSnowball, TimeFolio asset management, Quantum Ventures
BitbyteThird party keyboard-GRANTTIPS
GroupbyDeveloper matching-GRANTTIPS
ShuruIT Content-Pre-Series ABlue Point Partners, Kodit, IPS Ventures
EDIT CollectiveProphtech-Series A bridgeKT Estate, Lotte Ventures, Strong Ventures
STUNITASEdutech180 billionM&AMegastudy `
Parable entertainmentCreative network-NAVER Z
Aria studioVirtual Human-SeedPrimer Sazze Partners, KB Investment
CNRIKOREAEnvironment-SeedSopoong Ventures
Career dayRecruit network500 millionSeedBA Partners, Spark lab
BomapInsuretech5 billionazfinancial
DankumiEdutech10 billionSeries BKiwoom Investment, DA Value Investment, S2L Partners, ISU Venture capital,

Major Funding

  •  Edutainment content startup Dankkumi has secured a KRW 10 billion Series B investment. Founded by history instructor Seol Min-Seok, the team aims to grow into a global IP company by producing made-for-kids content based on history.
  • IT outsourcing platform Wishket has raised KRW 6 billion in a Series B funding round. It has 100,000 professionals, including software companies, freelance developers, planners, and designers. It is expanding its scope to include IT-specific media, a platform for hiring developers, and Wishket Store, which offers cloud and software infrastructure services.
  •  Accommodation startup Jienem has received an investment of KRW 5.5 billion. With this funding, the company will expand the living accommodation management brand Y Collection and the franchise hotel chain The Leap nationwide. It will also develop mid-term and long-term residence platforms and upgrade its senior housing service.
  • Insurtech company Bomapp has attracted a strategic investment of KRW 5 billion. It jointly develops and provides 1:1 customized professional insurance consulting services through AZ Financial Service and Bomapp platform.

#Trend Analysis

Three Early stage Investors Give Startups Survival Tips In The Downturn

The startup investment market is still in bad shape. Investors from Kakao Ventures (CEO Shina Jung), SparkLabs (CEO Eugene Kim), and Logan Ventures (Vice President Jeremy Oh) took part in the Startup:CON panel discussion on how startups may survive the capital freeze and gave their advice on how to get through the investment crisis.

When asked about the current market situation, Shina Jung, the CEO of Kakao Ventures, replied that startups in the series B investment round and beyond and pre-IPO companies have suffered a blow. Although early-stage investments are still being made, CEO Eugene Kim stated that “earning real money is more crucial than the growth pace” for companies in the development stage. He emphasized that rather than growing quickly, it is now more crucial to demonstrate whether the business is profitable and has reached the break-even point. Vice President Jeremy Oh stated that startups that can mass-produce IP are still popular in the content sector, where Korea has strengths.

The general economic crisis had an impact on the investment downturn. There was an economic crisis in the past, but it was different from the current situation. CEO Jung noted, “what is different from the past dot-com bubble is that the fundamentals have collapsed.” In the past, it was a financial crisis, but today it is a comprehensive crisis impacted by many variables, such as war, currency rates, and coins. It takes about six to eight years to recover from this crisis, and it will be accomplished through new technologies, so it is advised to build up your stamina without any fuss. 

CEO Kim has enjoyed a bull market for a while, but now it is important to survive. So he advised the team to secure a runway to maintain the company for about a year without securing funds and to slow down now if an aggressive strategy had been employed.

What advice would they give to those who can only grow with investment? CEO Jung said, “We are advising them to strengthen fundamental strength and to cut costs.” She added, “We are urging them to look at the costs and minimize unnecessary things.” CEO Kim also emphasized the need to reduce costs and secure a runway. Vice President Oh recommended taking the investment even if the stake was reduced. Some areas continue to draw investors’ attention despite the worsening investment environment. Three investors voiced similar views on areas of interest. Vice President Oh said that because he is investing in content, he is interested in NFT, content brokerage platforms, and producers that make killer content on the metaverse. CEO Kim and CEO Jung chose SaaS companies. CEO Jung remarked that she is paying attention to areas where Koreans can excel and that Web3, a field with strong developers, is one of those areas.

Even though it is a tough time, the three investors predicted a positive future. CEO Kim stated that while 10 years ago he believed the founders were too young, he now views it favorably that longtime employees of Samsung or SK are starting their own businesses. “I think the founders who came out in a difficult time are real,” CEO Jung said. Due to a strong market, it was previously difficult to distinguish, but now it is simple. “Spring will arrive,” she concluded, “if we successfully navigate this tunnel.”

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter


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

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter