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[StartupRecipe] Startups Prove Profitability During Investment Winter

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Aug. 14 ~ Aug. 18]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 10.3 billion.

SijeClothing digital sourcing300 millionSeed BridgeKingoSpring, Beyond Valley
GyulmedalFood-SeedJeju CCEI
TestworksAI Data5 billionSeries B BridgeMYSC, The wealth Investment, Shinhan Asset Management, POSCO Technology Investment, Art Impact Investment fund
AceviewMobility4 billionTrustvalue
AiderXAI-SeedAltos Ventures
NOAASNCSafety solution-M&ACNAI
Allthat MakerBilliards brand-CNTTech
100percentBattery Charger-Hite Jinro
SCONVirtuber platform1 billionQuad Ventures
HubrizKids care-Pre-Series AMYSC, Crypton
FCUHealthcare-SeedZerotoone Partners
FXIPBrand aggregator-SeedSeries Ventures

Major Funding

  • Testworks raises KRW 5 billion in funding. The company provides one-stop services such as AI data collection, labeling, and quality, and has know-how in autonomous driving data processing and verification. The company will use the investment to advance its AI data lifecycle all-in-one solution and optimize its AI semiconductor/embedded software quality verification and integration management solutions, including automotive semiconductor chips.
  • AceView, a mobility AVM (automatic vehicle location display system) solution company, received KRW 4 billion in investment. The company has developed its own video codec source technology that enables real-time realization of drone view screens even during high-speed driving to help prevent accidents. The solution can be installed on buses, trucks, couriers, military vehicles, etc. Plans to go public on KOSDAQ in 2025.

#Trend Analysis

Startups Prove Profitability During Investment Winter

A profound transformation is sweeping through the investment landscape, with startups increasingly shifting their focus from unrestrained growth to a resolute pursuit of profitability. Even the once-voracious pre-unicorns, known for their relentless pursuit of expansion, are grappling with a harsh reality – securing investment in these trying times has become an arduous task, thanks to the tightening grip of a funding drought. Faced with this formidable challenge, they’ve initiated bold measures to secure their financial footing, undertaking extensive restructuring, curtailing their pursuit of new ventures, and dialing down their marketing efforts.

In the wake of these strategic pivots, a significant number of startups have recently posted remarkable comebacks, marked by resurgent profitability and substantial revenue surges. Notably, the resurgence is most conspicuous among B2C platform companies, a cohort that was once celebrated as unicorns. These platforms, despite wallowing in red ink due to their aggressive growth strategies, have been able to attract substantial investments, buoyed by their exponential expansion in vast markets. Nevertheless, as investor sentiments gravitate towards profitability, these platforms have been forced to recalibrate their approach.

Within this realm, the fashion-focused platforms, which had earlier feasted on lavish investment inflows, now find themselves on a mission to demonstrate their financial prowess and evolve into self-sustaining entities, fueled by profit. Recent headlines have been ablaze with success stories such as Ably and Brandy, heralding their newfound profitability, sparking anticipation for similar announcements from other fashion platforms. Additionally, Myrealtrip, which weathered a storm during the COVID-19 crisis, is now brimming with confidence about turning a profit this year. Meanwhile, Drama&Company, the business card app trailblazer, proudly proclaims its ascent into the coveted realm of profit.

Remarkably, the age of a startup seems to exert a profound influence on its path to profitability. Take, for instance, the case of Lappolabs, a fashion platform that defies expectations by achieving profitability in under four years since its inception. This accomplishment positions them favorably for future investment endeavors.

While the investment climate may currently resemble a deep freeze for startups, it also presents an opportunity to catalyze a qualitative transformation within the ecosystem. As more startups awaken to the imperative of constructing self-sustaining revenue models and embracing efficient operational paradigms from day one, we envisage the emergence of a robust and resilient entrepreneurial landscape. Winds of change are sweeping through the startup sphere, and those who adapt and thrive in this new era of prioritizing profitability are poised for a bright and sustainable future.

CompanyDescription Founded
Ably corporationFashion Platform2018
BrandyFashion Platform2014
LappolabsFashion Platform2020
MyrealtripTravel Platform2012
Drama&CompanyDigital biz card platform2013
LaundrygoMobile laundry platform2019
Startups that have recently turned a profit

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