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[StartupRecipe] Three Sectors That Captured Investor Attention in the First Half of 2023

#Weekly Funding Overview

[July. 3~ July. 7]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 171.7 billion.

PairyB2B SaaS1.4 billionSeedBass Investment, Mashup Angels, Konai Partners, Infobank
PitterpetterPettech900 millionPre-Series AMYSC, Hi Investment partners
DogugongganRobotics-Series ASamick matz Ventures
GreendoteElectronic car charging3 billionSeedWoori Bank, Behight Investment, Gridwiz, Isa company, Mousq
igogoKids edu-GrantTIPS
EcroxAir purifier-GrantTIPS
GenfitxGolf data science-GrantTIPS
MedilityDigital Healthcare5.6 billionPre-Series AKB Investment, KDB Development Bank, Kakao Ventures, BA Partners
D&C BiotechnologyHealthcare1 billionPre-Series AQuantum F&A LLC, KFFI, Hanllym technology holdings, Mirae holdings
Next editionCamping platform-Korea Investment Accelerator
PHAROSMARINEMarine mobility-Seed
AISAgri tech2.2 billionPre-Series AAscendo Ventures, Smilegate Investments
IntakeFoodtech8 billionSeries BATU Partners, BNH Investments, Ulmus Investments
Beyond HoneycombFood robotics7 billionSeries ALB Investment,BA Partners, Korea Development Bank, Dev Sisters Ventures, Posco capital
BRLabSleep tech2.5 billionGolden Oak Investment
Gravity labHealthcare-Delightroom
Stellavision500 millionSeedHana Ventures, Postech holdings.
TesserMedical platform-SeedBlue Point Partners
EVARElectronic car charging22 billionSeries BKorea Development Bank, Samsung, Hanwha Investment & Securities, Orix Securities-SBI Investment, DSC Investment-Schmidt, Envisioning Partners,
GintAgri tech16.5 billionSeries BSGC Partners, Hanwha Investment & Securities, Shinhan Asset Management, HG Initiative, JB Investment, IBK, Prophet Asset, CKD Venture Capital
CubigSecurity-Naver D2SF
MoiberAR-Pre-Series A Bridge
CointravitFintech-Newborn Ventures
4upnoteBusiness Management-SeedY&Archer, Venture box
FreewheelinEducation7 billionSeries BSmilegate Investment, Altos Ventures, Seoul Investment Partners
KoosignElectronic car charging-Pre-Series AHyundai Technology Investment /
BLQElectronic device commerce5 billionSeries A2CJ Investment, Strong Ventures, IBK Industrial Bank of Korea
SteppayFintech-Pre-Series A2KB Investment, Medici Investment, Primer Sazze Partners
InertiaFeminine healthcare-Pre-Series AFast Ventures, Future Play
RN1Outdoor platform-Pre-Series ANew Paradigm Investment
SlowaveSleeptech-SeedSpark Labs, Kingsley Ventures, D-Camp, The Ventures
Deep IAI-GrantDeeptech TIPS
AKROFashion brand-M&ABeutyselection
GreenSmart farm-Pre-Series ATinvestment
KlaydiceP2E-Altos Ventures

Major Funding

  • Electric vehicle charging solution EVAR secures 22 billion won in investment. EVAR, a spin-off from Samsung Electronics’ in-house venture, started with mobile charging solutions such as autonomous driving and automatic charging robots. It currently supplies 20,000 fast chargers nationwide and is promoting smart Dynamic Load Balancing charging infrastructure. The investment will be used to secure talent and focus on overseas expansion, including the United States and Japan.
  • Intelligence agriculture mobility company Gint has attracted an investment of KRW165 billion. It develops solutions that can upgrade existing agricultural machinery to autonomous driving, allowing real-time location data and autonomous operation on major domestic and international brands of tractors, among others.
  • Foodtech startup Intake attracts KRW 8 billion in investment. It focuses on alternative meat, alternative eggs, and alternative sweeteners based on plant-based and microbial-based alternative food material technologies. Its goal is to be listed on the KOSDAQ as the first food tech company.
  • Education startup FreeWheelin secures KRW 7 billion in funding. It operates a mathematics education service called MathFlat and possesses 700,000 self-produced math contents, providing customized math content. The investment will be used for talent acquisition and product enhancement plans.
  • Beyond Honeycomb attracts KRW 7 billion in investment. It has developed robots capable of reproducing dishes from famous chefs, and it pays copyright fees to chefs when the dishes are sold. The robot is equipped with a molecular sensor that detects changes in the characteristics of food ingredients at the molecular level, allowing the reproduction of consistent texture and taste. The investment will be used for establishing a US subsidiary and other purposes.

#Trend Analysis

Three Sectors That Captured Investor Attention in the First Half of 2023

Startups in the first half of 2023 have encountered a challenging investment landscape, grappling with a significant funding drought. According to data from Startup Recipe, investments during this period recorded a sharp decline of 36% compared to the second half of the previous year, and a staggering 57% decrease when compared to the previous quarter. Despite the prevailing pessimism in the investment market, certain sectors have managed to capture the attention of investors. Among the various fields, three sectors stood out as focal points for investment during the first half of the year.

Generative AI=Generative AI, fueled by the global popularity of chatGPT, has swiftly emerged as a lucrative investment field both domestically and internationally. Startups have been quick to seize this trend by introducing services that incorporate the functionality of chatGPT. Companies specializing in generative AI have garnered attention right from the early stages. Noteworthy players making waves in this realm include Wrttn Technology, which successfully secured 15 billion KRW in funding, Pion Corporation, the operator of VCat—an automatic advertising video production platform, and Scatter Lab, the creator of IruDA, a chatbot capable of engaging in friendly conversations.

ContentIP=Amidst the investment winter, content intellectual property (IP) startups have defied the odds and thrived in the first half of this year. Propelled by the widespread adoption of over-the-top (OTT) platforms and the soaring popularity of K-content, these startups have attracted significant investment as they showcase potential for expansion across multiple domains such as movies, webtoons, and games. Even early-stage companies have successfully secured funding due to the high growth expectations associated with this sector. Notable examples include Theorigin, which raised an impressive 13.3 billion KRW in seed funding, leveraging its expertise in animation and webtoon IP production. 4th CREATIVE PARTY and The Grem Entertainment have also made their mark. Additionally, prominent startups such as Beyond Music—an investment firm specializing in music IP—and Music Cow—a platform offering music revenue securities—have gained recognition within the content IP financial services sector.

System semiconductors=System semiconductors, regarded as the future of the industry, have received active support from the government. In turn, investors have shown a keen interest in injecting funds into semiconductor startups, intensifying competition within the sector. Padu, the first unicorn in the semiconductor field, has been the subject of significant attention this year, with leading examples including Semifive, Furiosa AI, Rebellion, and DeepX. Additionally, companies like Encored Technologies, known for manufacturing equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing processes, Gwanak Analog, specializing in power semiconductor development, and ㅍVanam, focusing on semiconductor materials and components, have successfully attracted substantial investments. Furthermore, the selection of Boss Semiconductor, a startup specializing in vehicle semiconductors, by the Hyundai Motor Group underscores the recognition and support it has garnered within the industry.

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