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[StartupRecipe] Virtual Human Startups Are On The Rise

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Oct. 31 ~ Nov. 4 ]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 59.9 billion.

Space VProphtech1 billionPre-Series ADaekyo Investment, WeVentures
AetechEnvironment3.1 billionSeries AVision Creator, GS Ventures, Sopoong Venture, Blue Corner
TreefarmPlant shopping mall500 millionPre-Series ANew Paradigm Investment
Secuchar GlobalSecurity8.2 billionSeries ABNK Capital, Coentry Investment
HodoolabsEdutech13 billionSeries BLGU+, Korea Development Bank, Intervest, SDB Investment, Capstone Partners, NPX Capital
Step PaySubscription SaaS2.3 billionPre-Series APrimer Sazze Partners, Info Bank
Mad CorporationMarketing agency-M&AMotivIntelligence
DisquietMaker Social network-Pre-Series AKB Investment, We Ventures, D.Camp
ididSocial entertainment5 billionSeries ADS Asset Management, Shinhan Capital, Geon Investment, Korean hipop fund
BillyoSpace Management200 millionPre-Series ACNTTech
SafehouseStory Production1 billionPre-Series AS2L Partners, DA Value Investment
Mass AdoptionBlockchain-SeedCNTTech
Fiserv KoreaPayment-M&AKorea Credit Data
Aqara KoreaIoT25.6 billionSeries ASK D&D, KOC Partners, Saltux Ventures, Capstone Partners, Korea Design

Major Funding

  • Aqara Korea has raised KRW 25.6 billion in investment. Valued at KRW 100 billion, it is a home IoT company with smart hubs, sensors, controllers, lighting, and door locks.  By supporting Matter, a global home IoT connection standard, the company has received high marks for its growth potential. 
  • Hodoo Labs, an Edtech company, has received a KRW 13 billion investment. Its corporate value tripled in a single year to KRW 60 billion. Domestic and foreign businesses have grown by offering English-speaking content, Hodoo English, targeted at infants and elementary school students. The funds will be used to expand the Hodoo English service. 
  • SecuChart Global has secured a KRW 8.2 billion investment. As a subsidiary of security solution company Everspin, it provides Fake Finder, a whitelist-based fake app detection solution, to top financial companies in Korea.
  • IDID has obtained a KRW 5 billion investment. It runs Bound, a short-form social entertainment platform where you can produce various videos and music content on over 500 songs. The company will make investments in upgrading its service and growing domestic and overseas bases. 

#Trend Analysis

Virtual Human Startups Are On The Rise

Startups that create virtual humans are attracting investors thanks to the popularity of the metaverse. In particular, funds are flowing into early-stage startups. Virtual human startups have received large-scale investments since last year. As virtual influencers have gained popularity among the MZ generation and as more businesses employ them as marketing and advertising tools, interest in the companies that create them has increased.

A virtual human producer DeepBrain finished a funding round of KRW 50 billion last year. The company is valued at KRW 200 billion. Lion Rocket raised KRW 6.5 billion last year and launched VeryMe. This service allows you to create your own virtual face based on your actual face with AI technology. KLleon also secured KRW 4 billion last year. It provides KAMELO, a service that makes virtual humans fast and cheap with a single photo and voice.

Related startups have successfully secured funding one after another this year, following the success of previous year. The majority of them are early-stage startups recognized for their growth potential.

Vlast, the first in-house venture of MBC, raised KRW 2.4 billion. The company made virtual characters for television shows like “Meeting You.”

It created top-notch digital content for the metaverse employing IPX (Line Friends) character IPs, including the original characters from Line Friends.

Aria Studio is developing virtual human ARii. By applying AI artificial neural networks and real-time 3D modeling technologies, it presents more realistic visuals and emotional expressions compared to existing virtual humans. 

PLUME.D, who recently won the grand prize at the Chung Ju-Yung Startup Competition, provides Avatok, a software for virtual YouTubers. AI real-time motion tracks your entire body and mimics user expressions and motions, enabling you to implement 3D avatars at a low cost with a single webcam.

SCON operates Meechu, a service that facilitates the development of virtual YouTubers. The entire process for creating virtual characters, such as facial and motion tracking and 3D modeling, is supported by professional character writers, animators, and developers so that you can make video content with virtual characters using only computers and smartphones.

Company NameDescriptionInvestment AmountStageInvestor
Aria StudioAI Virtual HumanNon-disclosureSeedPrimer Sazze Partners, KB Investment
SCON3D Virtual Character ProductionNon-disclosureSeedThe Invention Lab, Woomi Construction, Kukbo Design
PLUME.DFacial Expression Recognition SoftwareNon-disclosureSeedFuturePlay
VlastVirtual CharacterKRW 2.4 BillionSeedMBC, IPX

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