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[StartupRecipe] Why Samsung invests in startups

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Nov. 30~ Dec. 4]

The total funding of the first week of December stood at 210.5 billion won across 25 deals.

HumanscapeBio/Healthcare13 billionSeries BKorea Investment Partners, GC Pharma, KB Securities, Nau IB Capital, Carelabs
AgreableConsumer9.5 billionSeries BNau IB Capital, Nonghyup Bank, KB Securities, UTC Investment, SL Investment
ReharvestSustainability-SeedSopoong ventures, Sparklabs
Aiji NetInsurance5 billionSeries BMirae Asset Venture Investment, SBI Investment Korea, Intervest, Hana Financial Investment, Hancom Investment
FastviewMedia/Content2.5 billionPre-Series ADSC Investment, SparkLabs Ventures, Dable
DataknowsReal estate/Proptech-Bridge Round
TripleTravel10 billionYanolja
PerfittAI2.5 billionSeries ASparklabs, TBT, Capstone Partners, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund
BiomixFood-Series AAtinum Investment, Altos Ventures, Otium Capita
EJNGame5 billionSeries AKorea Investment Partners, ATU Partners, Partners Investment
MediblocBio/Healthcare4 billionSeries ANaver D2SF, IMM Investment, Company K Partners
TechtakaLogistics-Naver D2SF
StoricityTravel-500 Startups
STS BioBio/Healthcare-SeedCCEI Incheon
ThingsBio/Healthcare-SeedDaewon-The Invention lab
thefamilylabConsumer-SeedDaewon-The Invention lab
GrowingmomConsumer-SeedDaewon-The Invention lab
HomebuttonReal estate/Proptech-Daewon-The Invention lab
Front9Logistics-SeedDaewon-The Invention lab
HilokalEducation-SeedDaewon-The Invention lab
Megazone GloudSoftware140 billionSeries B
Veluga BreweryConsumer-500 Startups, Kakao Ventures
ERTManufacture1 billionKorea Develpoment Bank
AprilbioBio/Healthcare18 billionSeries B
We meet placeConsumer-Industrial bank of Korea

Major Funding

  •  Mega Zone Cloud is raising 140 billion won in investment, the largest amount ever for the industry series B related to Mega Zone Cloud (MSP). Megazone Cloud is Korea’s largest cloud management company (MSP). Twentythree companies, including banks, securities firms, private equity funds, and conglomerates participated in the investment. Through this investment, the company plans to grow into one of Korea’s leading IT companies with global competitiveness. The company is aiming for an IPO in 2023. 
  • Healthcare startup, HumanScape raised 13 billion won in a Series B investments from existing investors. Humanscape operates ‘Rare Note 2.0’, medical information data for patients with rare and incurable diseases based on the blockchain. The company’s accumulated investment is 22 billion won, and plans to expand its business by raising funds.   
  • Triple has received 10 billion won in investment from leisure platform Yanolja. Triple, specializing in travel, provides various travel information and products such as in flights and hotels, restaurants in 210 cities worldwide. Yanolja expressed its ambition to use Triple’s domestic content to expand their service categories to local restaurants and shopping lists. Yanolja plans to expand their platform to grow into a full-service global leisure platform.  
  • Agreable has attracted 9.5 billion won in a Series B investment. The company that operates premium convenience food commerce Wingit and pet food service Petsoban recorded a cumulative investment of 12.2 billion won. With the investment, the company plans to hire talent, upgrade their service, and promote brand recognition. 
  • EJN raised 5 billion won in their Series A investment round. Founded in 2016, EJEN runs Together, a Korean community platform for Twitch streamers and their fans. Investment funds will be used to expand market share by intensively developing solutions centered on live streaming and performance.  
  • Aiji Net raised 4 billion won in investments. IGINET was established in 2019 and operates Bodak, an AI mobile insurance diagnosis service used by 500,000 people. 
  • MediBlock raised 4 billion won in their series A funding round. The company has established a blockchain-based digital healthcare platform and is conducting joint research and development with 15 domestic and foreign medical institutions.   

More Funding

  • PearlFit raised 2.5 billion won in funding. PearFit is a service that recommends sneakers tailored to one’s size with AI technology. It plans to upgrade its AI recommendation engine and use its investments for overseas expansion, such as North American markets. 
  •  Fastview raised 2.5 billion won in funding. Fastview, co-founded in 2018 by a global content creator, provides soft content production/distribution and content commerce services. The company grows 400 percent every year and is set to make 8.5 billion won in annual sales this year. 

Undisclosed Funding

  • We Meet Place, a location-based meeting place recommendation service, raised investment from Industrial Bank of Korea 
  • Veluga Brewery, a comprehensive liquor wholesale online and offline (O4O) platform, raised investment from 500 startups and Kakao Ventures. 
  • Techtaka, which automates and optimizes the entire logistics process with a data analytics-based solution, raised investment from D2 Startup Factory 
  • Story City, which operates a customized domestic travel service called Yoda, raised investment from 500 startups. 
  • STBio, a closed-type drug delivery device (CSTD) manufacturer, raised investment from Incheon Intellectual Property No. 1 investment association of the Incheon Center for Creative Economy & Innovation. 
  • Biomix Tech, which specializes in developing and producing vegan foods, raised Series A investments from Athenum Partners, Altos Ventures, and Otium Capital. 
  • Food-Up Cycle Company Reharvest raised seed investment from Picnic Ventures and SparkLab 

#Trend Analysis

Why Samsung invests in startups 

Samsung Electronics held C-Lab Outside Demo Day on the 2nd. C-Lab Outside is an accelerator program that Samsung has been carrying out since 2018 by expanding its venture program C-Lab, which was conducted in-house. The selected companies will be provided with working space, incubation programs, and cooperation opportunities with Samsung.  

On Thursday, the company unveiled 20 companies that had applied for the past year online. Unlike last year, this year’s event will also be available to the public online. The startup was supported with up to 100 million won for one year, including office space at Samsung Electronics’ R&D campus in Seoul and mentoring experts at Samsung Electronics.  

20 startups pitched on C-Lab Outside demoday in 2020

Why does Samsung support startups? 

The ultimate goal is to become a helper and future partner for startups. It contains a message of co-prosperity between large companies and startups. It aims to do what only Samsung can do among the overflowing accelerators and programs. The expansion of the program from C-Lab Inside to Outside is also for supporting creative startups in more fields and future cooperation. Large Korean companies, including Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG, and SK, have seen startups as new growth engines over the past few years and are increasing opportunities for cooperation.  

Samsung’s brand power is hoped to shine more overseas. In 2020, Samsung Electronics opened its own booth in Eureka Park, a space dedicated to startups under the name of Samsung C-Lab, and supported incubators. 

We can see the cooperation between Samsung and startups in various fields. Nodamen, which runs a platform for appreciating and trading artwork, recently launched “Partron,” an application dedicated to Samsung’s smart TVs, cooperating with Samsung Electronics’ video display division. Samsung Electronics supported network connections with related companies and outside investment institutions. More than half of the 20 startups succeeded in attracting investment. The total amount is 18 billion won, including 6.5 billion won for Deeping Source, 5 billion won for Zamface, and 3 billion won for Super Tree. 

2019 C-Lab Outside demoday

In-house ventures that have gained independence from C-Lab are also active in many places. Samsung Electronics, which actively supports spin-off of in-house ventures, said 163 executives and employees established 45 startups as of May this year. Their investment since the spin-off amounted to 55 billion won. Major spin-off startups include the 360-degree  wearable neckband camera Linkflow, which won innovation awards at CES for two to three consecutive years, beauty startup LuluLab, as well as Welt, CoolJam Company, Salted Venture, and Pixelo. Under its plan to nurture 300 outside startups by 2022, Samsung Electronics has so far fostered 142 companies and now supports 40 companies. 


  • The Ministry of SME has set next year’s budget at 16.8 trillion won and increased the budget to foster non-face-to-face startups. It raised its budget for the non-face-to-face sector by 21.5 percent from 1.4 trillion won last year to 1.6 trillion won. Also, it has expanded its budget to support vitalizing venture investments and entering global markets. To revitalize venture investment, it will invest 400 billion won into Smart Korea Fund and establish 30 billion won worth of projects to support overseas expansion.  
  • Techstars hosted the first demonstration day of the Techstar Korea Accelerator program online. Ten startups that targeted the Korean or global market from seven countries participated in the demonstration. 

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