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[StartupRecipe] Startups with Large-scale Seed Funding: How Do They Differ?

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Nov. 7 ~ Nov. 11]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 56.7 billion.

Adler3D SNS800 millionPre-Series AHYU Holdings
VTOVDelivery9.5 billionSeries ATBT Partners, Humax, Smilegate Investment, Woomi global, The wealth Investment, KIBO
JIROVideo making1 billionPre-Series ABlue Point Partners, Lotte Ventures, Bon Angels Venture Partners, Primer sazze Partners
TreasurerFintech-Pre-Series ANH Investment & Securities
Wrtn TechnologiesAI-Assisted Writing3.8 billionPre-Series A
KihyaBeverage delivery-Pre-Series ATBT Partners, Seoul Techno Holdings
MirrorWeb browser800 millionSeedStrong Ventures, Bass Investment
a41Blockchain infra2.1 billionSeed
ArtscloudArt metaverse4.1 billionSeedCentral Investment Partners
HYPERCOMICWeb3 webtoon-Com2s holdings XPLA
Office checkinProphtech-SeedCNTTech
GenKOreBio/Healthcare17.1 billionSeries AStick Ventures, Kiwoom Investment, Clairvoyant Ventures, SJ Investment Partners, Aju IB Investment, The Wells Investment
WGSSemiconductor500 millionSeedKST
BIGCCreator tech5 billionPre-Series ALG Technology Ventures, Naver D2SF, Pearl Abyss Capital, Bon Angels Venture Partners
HeadlessD2C SaaS500 millionPre-Series ASBA, The Invention lab
VendysMobile meal coupon34.1 billionM&AHyundai easywell
NarmaDrone1.5 billionPre-Series AHana Ventures, POSTECH Holdings
ImagoworksDigital Healthcare10 billionSeries BIntervest, Company K Partners, KB Investment, BNH Investment, Dev Sisters Ventures, LB Investment
ideal labEducation-Pre-Series AVNTG

Major Funding

  • ImagoWorks, a digital dental solution, has raised KRW 10 billion in funding. Its cumulative investment amounted to KRW 13.7 billion. Established in 2019, it has combined AI technology and CAD cloud technology to automate manual tasks required for dental treatment. It hopes to increase its market share in the global dentistry market with this investment.
  • Hyundai Ezwel acquired the mobile meal voucher startup Vendys for KRW 37.1 billion. Founded in 2015, Vendys operates Sikdae, a mobile voucher platform that implements corporate meals support as a mobile service. Through this acquisition, Hyundai Ezwel plans to expand its business area to a meal welfare business in which companies pay meals for employees.
  • VtoV has secured a KRW 9.5 billion series A investment. Established in April last year, it runs To-Day, an optimal route delivery service. It applied the public bus network of the metropolitan area to the courier system in order to make deliveries quickly via the best route.
  • BIGC has received a KRW 5 billion pre-series A investment. Total funds raised are KRW 9.5 billion. Established in 2021, it develops a live platform where creators and fans can communicate in real-time. With this funding, the company will officially launch the platform and increase the number of its creators.

#Trend Analysis

Startups with Large-scale Seed Funding: How Do They Differ?

Amid persisting uncertainties in investment, some startups have secured large-scale investments even in their infancy. The number of startups that raised over KRW 10 billion at the seed stage began to increase in 2021, and the trend continued into this year. We examined the traits of the companies that raised more than KRW 6 billion among those that garnered seed funding this year.

When looking at the business sector, companies in the B2B platform or deep tech field were predominant instead of the B2C target platforms. They were focused particularly on future growth engines, such as blockchain, games, software (AI, SaaS, semiconductor), and digital healthcare.

Blockchain and Web3 received the most attention, raising over KRW 15 billion in investment. A4x, a blockchain infrastructure startup, has received two seed investments this year, totaling KRW 15 billion. With an emphasis on the validator (verifier) business, A4x offers services like governance as a service (GaaS), research content, and product development. It announced a plan to use the funds to establish a base for its international expansion. Monoly offers decentralized SaaS that ensures corporate data sovereignty in the Web3 era. It doesn’t depend on a central server, which helps ease consumers’ concerns about data sharing. You can monitor and control your data flow by allocating it only to a cloud server designated by the enterprise, not to a cloud server owned by the SaaS service provider. The company will also make its entry into the U.S. market with the investment.

Another trait of well-funded seed-stage startups is that they target the global market or have attracted investment from overseas VC companies. An AI image search solution Twelve Labs was selected by global venture capital companies including Index Ventures and Radical Ventures, which have raised unicorns, and received a KRW 6 billion investment. It combines NLP and computer vision to develop a technology that precisely identifies scenes among numerous videos that match the search terms entered. You can also search complex queries with a variety of data, such as characters and texts. Supercent uses K-content as a weapon to attack the international market. A subsidiary of 111percent, the company was founded last year as a hyper-casual game developer and made money in its first year. It will soon release a hyper-casual game of Netflix’s original TV series Kingdom.

They are also distinguished by being founded by experts. Arcreal, which develops intraoral 3D scanners and medical software platforms, has obtained large investments by digitizing medical devices. It was established by deep tech experts such as game development engineers with the goal of digital transformation of the dental industry. The company has completed the development of oral scanning software used for various dental treatments like implants and orthodontics. It has also recently finished the hardware design and will start manufacturing intraoral 3D scanners. It also targets the global intraoral scanner market based on its technological prowess.

Mango Boost, a data processing accelerator DPU(data process unit) startup, was founded by Professor Jangwoo Kim of Seoul National University with his students. Its members include professionals with years of experience in developing DPU-related semiconductors and software. It is developing a product that performs 40% better than its competitors. The team also received investments from global VCs and it runs a U.S. subsidiary targeting the global market.

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