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[StartupRecipe] Korean Startups Targeting Global Markets

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Jan. 9 ~ Jan. `13]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 45.7billion.

HeroworksHotel solution-KabuK Style
Milk CorpertaionKids-Seed BridgeBluePoint Partners, CNT Tech, Newborn Ventures, Korea Investment Accelerator
DevunlimitAI training-CNTTech
TwinwizMeterials2 billionPre-Series ABusan Technology Holdings, KIBO, Blue Point Partners, Gyeongnam Venture Investment,
MultipleyeDeep learning-SeedFuturesPlay, HLMando
Ipin LabsMulti View Stereo-SeedFutureplay, HL Mando
NavifraLogistics Robot-SeedFutureplay, HL Mando
ConsaladSocial Network-The Ventures, Philosopia Ventures,
KVISAForeign service-SeedMashup Angels
ElinhaK Beauty2.3 billionSeries ATBT Partners, AmorePacific
InnerverzVirtual Human2.5 billionHybe, Laguna Investment, Blue Point Partners
Pluto labsThesis searching4.5 billionSeries APosco Capital, HGI, JB Investment, Seoul Investment Partners, Be high Investment
C2YInterior-SeedSeoul Techno Holdings
EnkorwithusForeigner platform-SeedCNTTechqqq
The makersSwim system-SeedMYSC
AngelroungeaAngel community-Pre seed
OrangeBiomedDigital Healthcare1 billionINTOPS INVESTMENT
BackpackerHadnmade Market20 billionSeries CAxium Asia Private Capital, Vanderbilt University, Altos Ventures, Stonebridge Ventures
Core movementDigital Healthcare400 millionPre-Series AETRI Holdings, Korea Science & Technology holdings
Alt-aLastmile system-Pre-Series AShinhan Capital
AtommerceMental healthcare6 billionSeries B BridgeSamsung Venture Investment, Lotte Healthcare
LemonbaseHR Tool7 billionSeries AAtinum Invest, Kakao Ventures, Bon Angels Venture Partners

Major Funding

  •  Backpacker, an operator of the handicraft platform Idus, has raised KRW 20 billion in investment from both domestic and foreign investors. The total value of transactions made through its services, Idus and Tumblbug, exceeded KRW 1 trillion and the number of handicraft sellers reached 350 million. This funding will be mainly used to expand into overseas markets, upgrade its services, and improve the environment for creators.
  • Atommerce, which runs a mental healthcare platform Mind Cafe, has secured a KRW 6 billion investment. It has 1.5 million members and keeps its sales and other indicators growing steadily. Its mental healthcare programs for corporate executives and employees are showing results. It has recently launched a service in Japan as well.
  • Performance management SaaS Lemonbase has received KRW 7 billion in investment. So far, it has raised KRW 14 billion in total. It is a service that enables companies to easily and continuously manage their performance. It is now used by more than 200 businesses, and the number of paid users has climbed five times since last year.

#Trend Analysis

Korean Startups Targeting Global Markets

111 Korean ventures and startups swept the innovation awards at CES 2023 last week, achieving the best performance ever. It demonstrates that Korean startups are competitive on a global scale. An increasing number of Korean startups—whether they are based at home or abroad—are advancing into the global market. Here are some startups to keep an eye on.

Major cloud platforms in Korea competitively announced their investment rounds last year. By securing large-scale funding, they seek to expand outside of the Korean market. Bespin Global attracted investment from Middle Eastern companies, paving the way for advancing into the Middle Eastern and African cloud markets. The company plans to create a joint venture to increase its market presence.

Some startups have come to prominence in the Southeast Asian market. Mathpresso is quickly becoming a strong player in the Vietnamese education market with its AI learning app. It is said that the team has acquired the largest number of subscribers from Vietnam for three consecutive years. It is emerging as an alternative for the underprivileged in the Vietnamese market, which lacks educational infrastructure. It also completed an investment of KRW 77 billion last year. Rsquare has been collecting data to enter the Southeast Asian market for commercial real estate. The company has completed securing DBs from five major Southeast Asian countries and built the groundwork for market entry. Tridge targets global markets in the field of agricultural data. Tridge, which became a unicorn last year, provides its own agricultural product data to address information asymmetry. Its main customers include famous brands, such as Walmart and Carrefour.

Twelve Labs has won over global investors from the seed stage with its outstanding technology. It prompted a well-known overseas investment firm to make its first investment in Korea. Twelve Labs is an AI-powered video search platform that allows you to find the image you want. Bobidi also received investment from Meta (Facebook). It provides a testing service for AI model products. It is also backed by Y Combinator.

The majority of mobility startups with self-driving solutions are also looking for expansion opportunities abroad. Strategic investors, including an American self-driving company, a German auto parts supplier, and Hyundai Motor Company, invested KRW 100 billion in StradVision last year, which creates AI-based image recognition software. It recently finished rebranding, and now it’s trying to raise brand awareness and accelerate global business expansion.

For webtoon and web novel platforms to grow, global expansion is inevitable. RIDI succeeded in turning into a surplus with the success of the global webtoon service Manta. RIDI aims to grow into a content IP company that encompasses not only webtoons but also web novels and videos. With a variety of original content as a weapon, it hopes to draw in users from abroad. In the food sector, Armored Fresh is drawing attention with vegan cheese and is emerging as a global food company. GFFG, known for its brand Cafe Knotted, has attracted its first investment thanks to the success of food stores that fascinate the MZ generation with food and lifestyle brands. It showed its ambition to use this achievement as a springboard to pursue international markets.

The government promised to implement a variety of policies to boost global expansion this year, including the Super Gap Startup Project. It also announced that it would aid startups in attracting overseas investment by creating a global fund. More companies are expected to gain access to the global market as a result.

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