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[StartupRecipe]Blockchain Startup Investments Plunge by 67%

#Weekly Funding Overview

[July. 24~ July. 28]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 125.5 billion.

Aplykorea-SeedBlue Point Partners
Pharos bioBio-IPO
Buen CaminoMarket platform-Pre-Series A
PuntacompanyAudio food commerce-Smilegate Investment
Wello-Pre-Series AKorea Investment Partners, KODIT
Comment ComputerBlockchain cloud8 billionSeries B bridgeInbody, HB Investment
TripearlgamesGame-SeedBigbang Angels, Korea Omega Investment
MineisSecondhand Platform1.21 billionSeedWoori Venture Partners
SmoretalkVisual generation-SeedKorea Investment Accelerator, Post Holdings
Liquor squareCraft Beer300 millionSeedImpactSquare
FindaFintech47 billionSeries CJB Group, 500Global
LalajobGig worker platform-M&ASaramin
BookIPsEdutech8.5 billionSeries AKB Investment, Primer sazze partners, SL Investment, Blue Point Partners, SBA
DelabsWeb3 Game6 billionHashed, Planetarium, Merit Circle, Polygon, Spartan
HospitalpeopleNurse community-SeedMashup Angels, KODIT
ChainlogisDelivery1 billionPurple Corp
EqualtableEco friendly coffee-Sparklab, Youth Impact, Band
Sealife ScienceLabSeafood-SeedCollzdanamics
TakyTablet Kiosk-Collzdanamics
Stress sloutionMindwellness soultion500 millionSeedKorea Investment Accelerator, Enlight Ventures,
SSSDCOneday class3 billionSeries A bridgeLighthouse Combined Investment, LGU+
DreamAESMobility13 billionPre-IPOKorea Investment, InterValue Partners, Golden Oak Ventures, DB Capital
CTTDDigital Marketing-M&AAfrica TV
Iron DeviceSystem Semiconductor12 billionSeries BCornerstone Investment Partners, KB Investment, IBK Industrial Bank, Wonik Investment Partners, Daishin Securities
MorehAI Infra SW15 billionKT Group
SusimdalEdutech-SeedThe Invention Lab
LutraNFT Solution-SeedGyeonggi CCEI
SakakData management-GrantTIPS
Sispia1 billionYougpoong paper
fanagementFandom platform-Bridge
UpptheraBio10 billionYuanBio Venture Capital

Major Funding

  • Fintech company Finda has attracted an investment of KRW 47 billion. This investment, secured in just 2 years and 6 months, acknowledges the growth and growth potential of the loan brokerage market. Founded in 2016, Finda has surpassed KRW 1 trillion in brokerage amount, and this investment will be used for various purposes, including the development of services for refinancing home mortgage loans.
  • AI infrastructure software Moreh secures KRW 15 billion investment. It provides products and services covering the entire process from AI semiconductor and cloud infrastructure to AI application services. With this investment, Moree plans to accelerate its AI full-stack business.
  • DreamAEC has secured a KRW 12.5 billion investment. Founded in 2015, the company specializes in providing vehicle infotainment solutions to major automakers, including Hyundai, Kia, Renault Samsung, and GM Korea. The newly acquired investment will be put to use in expediting solution development, ramping up mass production, and expanding its presence in the global market.
  • Common Computer raised an investment of KRW 8 billion. Established in 2018, it provides cloud infrastructure services, creating a decentralized cloud and developing an AI sharing network platform. This strategic investment, along with the collaboration of strategic investor InBody, will be used to advance their AI chatbot.

#Trend Analysis

Blockchain Startup Investments Plunge by 67%

Blockchain startups are facing their most challenging period this year, with the recent Luna crisis and FTX collapse dealing a serious blow to the cryptocurrency market’s trust and further intensifying the market downturn. As a result of the cryptocurrency crash and the broader economic slowdown, investors are actively steering clear of risks, causing blockchain investments to nosedive.

According to PitchBook data, fundraising for cryptocurrency startups during the first quarter of this year hit the lowest point since 2020, experiencing an alarming 80% drop compared to the same period last year. The impact is being felt even by heavyweight investors like Sequoia Capital, who responded to the economic downturn by cutting their investments in half, cryptocurrency funds included, for startups.

In Korea, the downward trend in blockchain investment has been a recurring theme year after year. In 2022, the total funds raised by blockchain companies amounted to KRW 261.1 billion, marking a 24% decline from the previous year. During the first quarter of this year, the funds raised were a meager KRW 63.5 billion, witnessing a staggering 67% drop compared to the same period in the previous year. Up until July, a total of KRW 90.2 billion was invested in related startups, and if the current investment pace persists, it is expected to fall short of last year’s numbers. However, there is a glimmer of hope as analysts predict the investment scale to show signs of revival from the second quarter onwards. Investors are still showing keen interest in companies equipped with core technologies, creating possibilities for additional fundraising opportunities.

Throughout the first half of the year, considerable investments have been funneled towards infrastructure companies, particularly web3 gaming platforms, mainnet development, and on-chain data analysis startups. Many of these companies have struck gold with overseas investment firms and major corporations, targeting a global audience.

Leading the pack as one of the most well-funded companies is Story Protocol. This innovative venture aims to build a “Story Lego Ecosystem” within the web3 realm, empowering creators to craft diverse stories with ownership and incentives managed through blockchain-based IP. Another noteworthy endeavor, Superblock, secured a significant KRW 9 billion investment for its development of a decentralized mainnet with a lightweight node structure, simplifying access to the blockchain ecosystem for users. Likewise, Common Computer obtained a substantial KRW 7 billion investment to fuel the expansion of its AI development ecosystem on a global scale.

Another standout performer, TeamBlackBird, has raised KRW 8.5 billion. Utilizing virtual asset wallet identification technology, TeamBlackBird creates CryptQuant and provides its services to over 200 countries. The CryptQuant data is being utilized by major global media and other sources, earning the company recognition as a trusted entity.

Additionally, the blockchain landscape continues to evolve with the emergence of new services like virtual asset exchanges, blockchain communities, and AI virtual asset management firms, all benefiting from initial investments. Despite the challenges posed by the global economic downturn, cryptocurrency crashes, and the slow commercialization of blockchain technology leading to a decline in startup investments, the technology’s potential to eliminate intermediaries and enhance transparency and efficiency remains undeniably promising. Though uncertainty clouds the timeline for market recovery, the presence of ample cryptocurrency funds in the market and the unwavering hope of investors for the technology’s potential bode well for avoiding a pessimistic evaluation of the market.

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