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[StartupRecipe] The 2nd COMEUP, What’s New?

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Nov. 16~ Nov. 20]

This week, two large Series D investments of KRW 30 and KRW 50 billion were reported, raising total investments in startups to KRW 104.9 billion.

WinegraphConsumer-SeedStrong Ventures
KinterchConsumer-SeedKorea Venture Investment
WorkermanConsumer1.5 billionSeries ABig Basin Capital, Smart Study Venture, Korea Venture Investment, How Investment, AI ANGELS
AISAgriculture-SeedSOPOONG Ventures, rokya
NearthlabSoftware-Breeze Investment
DMILConsumer15 billionSeries AAmorepacific
Balance HeroFinancial Service30 billionSeries DSoftbank Ventures, Naver, BonAngels Venture Partners, Daesung Venture Capital, Shinhan Capital, Jang byungkyu
VirtualiveConsumer1.4 billionPre-Series ANICE Investment Partners, CNTTech
testworksSoftware5 billionSeries BD3 jubilee Partners, SK, Korea Develpoment Bank
HaimbioBIo/Healthcare5 billionbtone
AIRS MedicalBIo/Healthcare5 billionKlimventures
WehuddlingConsumer-SEMA Translink Investment
EnvisibleEducation-KYOWON, primersazze
SirloinConsumer4 billionSeries ASmilegate Investment, DONGHOON Investment, Honest Ventures, Enlight Ventures, Hanaventures
Sandbox NetworkMedia/Content50 billionSeries DNVC Partners, Nexon, Korea Develpoment Bank, STIC VENTURES, Q CAPITAL PARTNERS, JB Asset Management, INDUSTRIAL BANK OF KOREA, Samsung Venture Investment, BSK Investment
JocoosMedia/Content-Meritz Securities, KIWOOM SECURITIES, AWESOME VENTURES
Gelato FactoryConsumer-M&ABrand X

Major Funding

  • MCN Sandbox Network raised Series D investments totaling KRW 50 billion. The funding will be used to facilitate the company’s growth and build industry-leading expertise. The cumulative investments amount is now KRW 90 billion .
  • Fintech startup Balancehero raised Series D investments totaling KRW 30 billion. Balance Hero provides the Indian middle class with micro-financing and financial services through its application. With this investment, the company is aiming to achieve operating profit in the first half of next year by rapidly growing its loans business.
  • Test Works, a company specializing in artificial intelligence data collection processing and software testing, and Airs Medical, a medical artificial intelligence (AI) startup, each secured an investment of KRW 5 billion and will continue to develop and enhance their services.
  • Food tech company Sirloin received KRW 4 billion in a Series A investment. Sirloin, which focuses on the essence of meat rather than the distribution structure of the meat market, has secured stable B2B sales outlets such as Michelin restaurants. Online sales are growing rapidly due to an increase in untact consumption.
  • Dmil, a beauty-specialized MCN company, plans to attract 3 billion KRW in strategic investment from AMOREPACIFIC Group and plans to establish a close cooperative relationship with beauty influencer contents and commerce.

More Funding

  • Workerman, a home repair company, and Virtualive, operator of hair beauty service Hairfit, raised Pre-Series A investments of KRW 1.5 and 1.4 billion, respectively.

Undisclosed Funding

  • Codit=Legal and policy data intelligence platform
  • Kinterch=Exhibition, meeting, and consultation operation platform
  • Wingraph=Wine recommendation platform
  • AIS=Crop optimal growth management solution
  • Sgma=Fishing-related integrated service platform
  • Wehuddling=operator of lunch subscription service We Eat Delight
  • Jocoos=video technology startup
  • Envisible=interactive education technology startup
  • Nearthlab=Industrial autonomous drone software


BrandX Corporation, owner of Xeximis among other brands, has acquired the nail art search platform Gelato Lab. Including this acquisition, BrandX Corporation announced that it is planning additional mergers and acquisitions to diversify its lifestyle business portfolio.

#Trend Analysis

The 2nd COMEUP, What’s New?

COMEUP 2020, Korea’s largest global startup festival, concluded on Saturday(11/21). According to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the online event attracted more than 100,000 people from around the world. Despite being a three-day-long large conference, all sessions ran smoothly online, which is very impressive.

The event, which had a post-Corona theme, was planned to take place both online and offline when the organizing committee announced plans during the launching ceremony in May. However, after it became difficult to rent locations, the event was held completely online.

Comeup in 2020(Left), Comeup in 2019(Right)

Unlike the previous event, the main focus of the event was lectures. Startup entrepreneurs from Korea and abroad discussed the changed market situation due to COVID-19 and what the future may hold in 12 sessions (K-quarantine, policy, digital health care, environment, open innovation, AI & robots, remote work, manufacturing, commerce, education, entertainment, and retail).

The event took advantage of the online format to deliver perspectives from well-known global experts. Since the quality of content is very high, it is worthwhile to watch the videos in order to learn about global market conditions in the post-COVID era.

However, there was one downside. Last year, there was a relay demo day where winning startups were selected for each sector. However, there were no opportunities to see startups in person this year. Since the event was held online, it would have been good if Korean startups had had an opportunity to be advertised to the world through IR. It was good that the audience could attend the event conveniently online. However, startups were not the main focus of the event. Special events and other events were held and 120 COMEUP STARS were selected in advance to represent the event and help startups make IR videos, but the audience could not see startups in the main event, which is regrettable.

The public and private sectors launched COMEUP for the first time last year to promote Korea’s representative startup event. The purpose of the event is to help startups grow and advance into the global market. It seems that they have successfully advertised COMEUP to the world through the first event, which Korea’s famous startup entrepreneurs attended, and the successful second online event. Hopefully, the third event will be further recognized as a global event with more investors and startup entrepreneurs from abroad.



  • Viva republic, operator of Toss, will launch Toss Securities early next year. Toss Securities target people in their 20s and 30s and hopes to be the Robin Hood of Korea. Toss Securities, which started with brokerage of domestic stocks, is planning to expand its services to include brokerage of overseas stocks and sales of collective investment funds.
  • Kakao held the if(kakao) 2020 event from November 18-20. It was held online with 100 sessions encompassing various topics in celebration of the company’s 10 th anniversary.
  • Global leisure platform company Yanolja is planning an IPO. It selected a lead manager with the goal of going public next year. Yanolja’s IPO will be the first unicorn IPO in South Korea.

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