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[StartupRecipe] Sustainability funding rises despite investment crisis

#Weekly Funding Overview

[July. 17~ July. 21]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 277 billion.

CompanyIndustryAmountRoundInvestors
MofinFintech-GrantTIPS
Dayoff CompanyTravel commerce-SeedGS Retail, CNT Tech
TionlabTherapeuticsBio-SeedSeries Ventures
DaL LaLa NetworkEntertainment-Pre-Series ACNTTech
Gosu plusHousing rental700 millionPre-Series A BridgeHonest Ventures, MYSC
RobrosService Robot1.6 billionSeedStick Ventures, Primer Sazze, GS Retail
EnlipleBigdata3 billionHonest Ventures
Nine AMCreator Business-GrantTIPS
AGENCOREMilitary Industry-GrantScaleup TIPS
MxT BiotechBio-GrantScaleup TIPS
GreyscaleSenior Care-GrantTIPS
PlaytagBehavior analytics-GrantScaleup TIPS
RIDUCKSports-SeedDigital Healthcare Partners
UglyusFood commerce1.9 billionPre-Series ASpringcamp, Smilegate Investments, KODIT, Capstone Partners, Thanks Ventures
MusinsaFashion200 billionSeries CKKR, Wellington Management
Indent CorporationMarketing Solution2 billionSeries AKOSMES
AtostudyStudyroom brand4.5 billionSeries AHana Ventures, Koramco Asset Management
MirrorboardSocial Network-GrantTIPS
TadaRide hailing-M&AThe swing
MotyDigital weight machine-SeedKorea Investment Accelerator
JecleanBed upcycling-MYSC
DreamoGame1.1 billionKona Ventures, Kakao Ventures
Green MineralBattery recycling5 billionSeries A bridgeD3Jubilee Partners, GS Ventures, Daekyo Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Capital One
SendyFreight transportation6 billionSeries BKorea Develpoment Bank, BNK Venture Investment, Shinhan Asset Management
MINTECHBattery14 billionPre-IPOPosco Capital, LG Energy Solution, EcoPro Partners Group, KB Securities
ChallengersgamesGame4 billionPre-Series AKnet-Crit content investment association
BlackstormGame15 billionKorea Investment Partners, Atinum Investment
PylerBrand Safety Solution5.5 billionSeries AMedici Investment, Glonet Venture Partners, IBK Industrial Bank, IBK Capital, WON & Partners
SkyplayP2E12.7 billionLDA Capital

Major Funding

  • Fashion plaform Musinsa has attracted over KRW 200 billion in investments, leading to an increase in the company’s value to around KRW 3 trillion which is KRW 1 trillion higher than before. The success factors for this investment, made in just two years, include the potential for global expansion and the expansion of their in-house brand, Musinsa Standard, resulting in increased sales.
  • Game development company Blackstorm secured KRW 15 billion in investments. The key to their investment success lies in the company’s core developers who participated in developing major games, showcasing their talent and capabilities.
  • Battery company Mintech received KRW 14 billion in investments. As a company specializing in electric vehicle and ESS battery testing and diagnostics, they offer solutions spanning the entire lifecycle of batteries, from production to waste batteries. They aim to be listed on the KOSDAQ within this year.
  • Green Mineral attracted KRW 5 billion in investments. They have developed a technology that uses microalgae, specifically Chlorella, to recycle lithium from waste batteries. The investment funds will be utilized to scale up the lithium extraction process through pilot facility expansion and other plans.

#Trend Analysis

Sustainability funding rises despite investment crisis

Startups focused on creating a sustainable society are experiencing rapid growth worldwide, driven by the increasing awareness of the climate crisis. As a result, investments in these related startups are also on the rise in Korea. Despite the ongoing downturn in overall investment trends, there is a rising trend in the number of investments directed towards sustainable startups. Large corporations, in line with the prominence of ESG management, are actively investing in or collaborating with startups to swiftly transition to sustainable services and adapt to the changing landscape.

Among various fields, environmentally friendly energy/battery solutions, waste management solutions, cultured meat, and eco-friendly materials are attracting significant interest from investors.

This year, the waste management solutions sector received the most substantial investment funds. Companies involved in collecting, transporting, and processing various types of waste are leading the industry’s transformation by employing advanced technologies to monitor waste volumes, carbon emissions, and track waste movement routes in real-time. Through these efforts, they are not only reducing costs but also addressing critical waste-related issues.

Energy efficiency companies are also attracting considerable funding. Startups offering solutions to enhance energy efficiency in buildings and industrial facilities, utilizing IoT-based sensors to provide real-time energy consumption information and optimize user energy usage, are prominent examples. Additionally, services that recycle or treat waste batteries are also gaining significant attention.

In the cultured meat and alternative protein sectors, early-stage startups are receiving substantial capital influx. Although some startups have succeeded in securing large-scale investments, the reduced global investments in cultured meat can be attributed to the time required for technological development, infrastructure establishment, and public acceptance. Moreover, investments are being made in startups focusing on eco-friendly material development, eco-friendly packaging, upcycling, and other related fields.

With the growing social interest in sustainability, government support for ESG company transformations, stronger global environmental regulations, and an emphasis on corporate risk management, the role of these startups in driving positive change is expected to expand further. In the long term, investor interest is likely to continue gravitating towards sustainable startups offering stability and a brighter future for our planet.

Company Description Amount Round
Energy XEnergy Efficiency 200 BillionSeries B
Cell meatCultured meat 174 BillionSeries A
EcubelabsWaste Management150 BillionSeries C
RecoWaste Management145 BillionSeries B Bridge
MintechBattery140 BillionPre IPO
Green mineralBattery recycling50 BillionSeries A Bridge
RootenergyGreen Energy45 BillionSeries A
KevinlabEnergy Efficiency35 BillionPre Series A
2023 funded sustainable startups (unit:KRW)

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