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[StartupRecipe]Investment Trends of H1 2023: Sectors That Stand Out Amidst Decline

#Weekly Funding Overview

[June. 12 ~ June. 16]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 65.8 billion.

Epic Corp.Luxury Resell2.4 billionPre-Series AFast Ventures, Shinhan Venture Investment, Bass Investment
MewpotContent IP-Pre-Series ABlue Point Partners
I auroraFinancial Service-IBK Industrial Bank of Korea
QliiiProptech-Seed BridgeJB, Krypton, MYSC
BookersEbook B2B-SeedBlue Point Partners
SqueezeBitsAI-GrantDeeptech TIPS
Employee Labs Inc.HR-Pre-Series AKorea Investment Accelerator
Career dayHR400 millionSeed BridgeD.CAMP, KODIT, Yusung electonics
Zio robotRobotics-GrantDeeptech TIPS
CtcellsBio-GrantDeeptech TIPS
Fitpetpettech23 billionSeries B BridgeLB Investment, BRV Capital Management, KDB Development Bank
BigmobilityParking Service-SeedBon Angels Venture Partners
The originContent IP13.3 billionSeedKorea Investment Partners, Schmidt, Groom Investment Lotte Ventures, Hyundai Technology Investment, NH Investment & Securities, Kiwoom Investment, Now IB Capital, Industrial Bank of Korea, Laguna Investment,
NdotLight3D Design2.1 billionSeries ASamsung Venture Investment
Thesleep factorySleepcare-GrantTIPS
Korea Asset PurchaseReal Estate-Blue Point Partners
APRBeauty1 billionPre-IPOCJ Onstyle
Foresyswaste treatment2 billionSeries A BridgeKDB Development Bank, Hyundai Motor Zero One, MYSC, The Wells Investment
ADDDADtech5.7 billionSeries ADevSisters Ventures, POSTECH Holdings, Futureplay, Shinhan Tech Innovation, The Wells Investment, KODIT, Shinhan Asset Management
Wrtn TechnologiesAI15 billionSeries ACapstone Partners, KDB Development Bank, Z Venture Capital, Woori Venture Partners, Hana Bank, Hana Securities, KB Securities
GENFITXGolf fitting300 millionSeedVTNG
MoyeSports education600 millionSeedKudos Ventures
MeistersA/S Management-Pre-Series AKODIT
KkunadVietnam ecommerce-Pre-Series ANew Paradigm Investment

Major Funding

  • Fitpet, a pet healthcare company, has raised an additional investment of KRW 23 billion, completing a total investment of KRW 28 billion. Fitpet operates the ‘Ahead’ pet testing service and a health-customized petmall. With this investment, the company intends to focus on solution development, veterinary hospital-related businesses, and pet insurance.
  • Wrtn Technologies, a cutting-edge generative AI company, has secured an investment of KRW 15 billion, bringing its total accumulated investment to KRW 19 billion. Wrtn Technologies operates ‘wrtn 2.0,’ an AI portal service based on GPT-4, NAVER HyperCLOVA, and its proprietary language model. The company plans to utilize the investment to recruit top talent and enhance its services.
  • The origin, a content IP company, has successfully obtained an investment of KRW 13.3 billion. Dorigin’s objective is to develop versatile intellectual properties (IPs) that can be utilized across various mediums, including movies, dramas, and webtoons. The company aims to diversify its business ventures with this investment.

#Trend Analysis

Investment Trends of H1 2023: Sectors That Stand Out Amidst Decline

The initial half of 2023 lies ahead, yet the funding landscape has already witnessed a substantial setback in the first quarter, plunging by a staggering 77% compared to the previous year. Consequently, it is highly probable that the funding for the first six months of this year will exhibit a notable decline when compared to the previous period. However, amidst this challenging climate, certain sectors manage to retain their allure, drawing the interest of investors. Below is an insightful breakdown of companies that have successfully secured over $10 billion WON in funding, categorized by sector.

Software emerges as the frontrunner, boasting the highest number of deals, with a noteworthy dominance of AI technology-based enterprises. Moreover, investment in generative AI companies is on an upward trajectory. Notable beneficiaries of investment include Luton, amassing a staggering KRW 15 billion in funding, closely followed by ScatterLab and Pion Corporation, both securing a significant KRW 15 billion and KRW 10.5 billion respectively. Strikingly, semiconductor companies are defying the ongoing semiconductor recession by actively investing in the AI frenzy. Exemplifying this trend are Padoo, a fabless company that achieved the coveted unicorn status this year with an impressive KRW 12 billion investment, and IntoCore, a small firm leveraging plasma technology in semiconductor processes, successfully attracting KRW 12.5 billion in funding.

Within the consumer tech sphere, investment continues to gravitate towards the realms of fashion and resell. Prominent players such as Kream and AblyCorp have triumphantly secured substantial funding rounds, surpassing KRW 50 billion. Furthermore, the beauty company Birdview, poised for an imminent public offering, is gaining notable traction in this space, capturing KRW 20 billion in funding. Nevertheless, the emergence of a new platform powerhouse remains absent, signifying potential opportunities for future disruptors.

The fintech sector, renowned for its ability to attract substantial investment per company, naturally emerges as the highest recipient of funding. Noteworthy front-runners include BeyondMusic and MusicCow, specializing in the investment and trading of intellectual property rights, both securing remarkable sums of KRW 200 billion and KRW 60 billion respectively. Remarkably, PeopleFund, PayHere, and TravelWallet also secured substantial investments, amounting to KRW 24.7 billion, KRW 20 billion, and KWR19.7 billion respectively.

The content media sector has emerged as a hotbed for investors, propelled by the K-content craze. Investment inflows have primarily focused on content creators whose core competency lies in content intellectual property. Additionally, sustainable sectors such as Cellmeat and Ricoh have experienced considerable investments throughout the year.

Despite the prevailing slowdown in investment, certain noteworthy areas continue to captivate attention. Particularly, the field of artificial intelligence, intrinsically linked to future competitiveness, is poised to witness a surge in demand as it finds widespread application across various industries. Consequently, investors remain steadfast in allocating funds to this domain. Moreover, the semiconductor field, closely intertwined with AI, is expected to sustain its allure for investors and companies, reflecting ongoing investment trends.

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