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[StartupRecipe] Startups Leading Hotel Industry Digital Transformation

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Nov. 14 ~ Nov. 18]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 92.1billion.

HubbleUser research1.3 billionSeedSpring Camp, Good Water Capital, GS Futures
FlattenSneakers info-GRANTTIPS
moduventuresShared Kitchen2 billionKB Investment & Securities, Daol Investment & Securities
Neuro packEco friendly Packaging1 billionSeedBlue Point Partners, Sopoong ventures, Tap Angel Partners, Rising S Ventures
Content Technologiescontent IP agregator48.5 billionSeries AMaven Gross Partners, SV Investment, E&Investment, Shinhan Venture Investment, Com2us, Crit Ventures-Kinet Investment Partners, Hana Bank, Dreamus Company, Alpha Asset Management, KB Investment, P&I Investment, Spring Camp, IAM
GNA CompanyGame reward1.6 billionPhilosophia Ventures
HIGHERXWork management-Pre-Series AInfobank, IBK Capital
ERSTEQHealthcare-Pre-Series AAscendo Ventures, Synergy IB investment
HT beyondApartment concierge9 billionSeries ATBT Partners, LK Technology Investment, LK Asset Management, Ilshin Holdings, Kumho Engineering & Construction, and Bando Engineering & Construction
GazilabWellness1.3 billionbridgeBase Investment, KB Investment, Mashup Angels, Digital Healthcare Partners, Kakao Ventures
DayworkplusGeekworker payment-C&Venture Partners
Uproot CompanyDigital Asset solution-Hexagon Investment Consulting
TorderTablet Menu solution10 billionLB Investment
NINEAMCreator business-Pre-Series AZVC, Megastudy, Yoonmin foundation, Mark&Compnay
FairyPayment assistant-SeedMashup Angels
TradlinxLogistics solution7 billionSeries BHi Investment Partners, A Ventures, Capital One, BNK Venture Investment, Inlight Ventures, Samho Green Investment, and G&T Venture Investment
SCON3D Animation500 millionSeedNext Dream Angel Club, The Invention Lab
VDCOMPANYServing Robot9.9 billionHana Ventures

Major Funding

  • Contents Technologies, a startup based on content IP, has secured KRW 48.5 billion in Series A funding. It is a content IP aggregator that offers information about goods or services from different businesses on a single website. Its cumulative funding reached KRW 70 billion.
  • VD Company has completed a funding round of KRW 9.9 billion. It creates a robot solution specifically geared toward the restaurant industry and offers serving robots to franchise restaurant chains as Ashley Queens and VIPS. Ever since its foundation in 2019, it has had a positive yearly performance.
  • HT Beyond has secured KRW 9 billion, bringing the total to KRW 12 billion. As an IoT-based startup in spatial technology, it runs an apartment app named Byb, which is used by 2,000 apartment buildings countrywide.

#Trend Analysis

Startups Leading Hotel Industry Digital Transformation

The demand for digital transformation has been particularly high in the hotel and lodging sector due to the pandemic. While going through the pandemic, startups in the lodging industry are utilizing technology to provide the entire service non-face-to-face and to modernize outmoded facilities and systems. Because there is a greater demand for travel, the lodging industry is expanding, and as a result, startups that offer B2B IT solutions for lodging management are also prospering.

The company H2O Hospitality, which supports digital innovation in the management of accommodation facilities, has drawn the greatest attention in Korea. It raised KRW 30 billion last year—the largest sum ever given to a hospitality startup—and acquired businesses with hotel solutions to accelerate the digital transformation of the hotel industry.

This year, companies that incorporated technology into the running of living accommodation facilities gained notice. Handyz, which operates residential accommodation rentals, has received KRW 12 billion this year. As of November, it operated 2,000 rooms across the country under two brands: Urban Stay and Le Collective (high-end). Based on its expertise in facility operation, it has recently expanded into the hotel and food and beverage industries, with intentions to grow into other lodging categories such as hotels, pool villas, and pet hotels.

Jienem owns Y Collection, a brand that specializes in living accommodation management. The company began as a lodging reservation service and has grown rapidly since pivoting to a full-service hospitality company in 2021. With an investment of KRW 5.5 billion, it plans to expand its brand nationwide, develop a residence platform for medium- and long-term stays, and improve its senior residential service.

Vendit has received KRW 4 billion in its first funding for its accommodation management solution. Its goal is to automate hotel operations by building a cloud-based room management system and fingerprint recognition kiosks to eliminate simple repetitive labor and reduce labor costs. With its strength in unmanned operation using kiosks, it has formed partnerships with several companies, including Samsung SDS, and is rapidly growing.

Onda, which provides SaaS for hotel accommodation, is speeding up the industry’s digital transformation by investing in Whatsong, a residential facility, and acquiring hotels through its lodging management subsidiary, Onda Management. Onda runs a lodging B2B sales management platform that includes a booking solution and a lodging management system. It received KRW 9.5 billion in investment last year and has already surpassed KRW 100 billion in transactions in the first half of this year.

The Hyoosik is a business that offers a comprehensive solution to enhance underdeveloped accommodations and turn them into profitable facilities. The team secured KRW 35 billion in motel joint-investment funds and purchased hotel solutions, internalizing multiple value chains, including construction, operation, and IT required for the lodging business.

Additionally, about 25% of luxury hotels use the smart hotel platform InTheCore Business Platform, which offers practical features like controlling room devices with smartphones and check-in and check-out without face-to-face interaction. In order to grow its global SaaS solution business, Yanolja subsidiary Yanolja Cloud announced its plan to invest in Innkey Infosystems, an Indian premium hotel solution, subject to acquisition. It will put into place a more effective hotel operation solution with hyper-personalized AI-based customer service.

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