Scroll to top
© 2020, Startuprecipe theme by Rssow

[StartupRecipe] The Pet Sector: Experiencing Yearly Funding Growth Amidst Investment Winters

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Aug. 28~ Sep. 1]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 145.8 billion.

Onoma AIAI-Pre-Series AMark & Company, Kenaz, Suprema
AndreiaMental healthcare-SeedHallym Technology holdings
Ichtus AiSmart fishery-SeedGenaxis
BrexogenBio12 billionSeries CKolmar Korea Holdings, Korea Development Bank, Korea Investment Partners, UTC Investment, Timefolio Asset Management
DotmillTheme park15.8 billion프리IPOSmilegate Investment, S&S Investment
Bite companyMedia-GrantTIPS
MaboMental healthcare-Pre-Series AAngel Investor
VechingPettech4 billionSeries ALG U+, SJ Partners
BHSNLegal tech6 billionSeries AAltos Ventures
SapeonFabless60 billionSeries AGS E&C, GS Neotech, Daebo Group, Hana Financial Group, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, We Ventures, E1, Accent Equity Partners
SulbingFood-M&AUCK Partners
NTFood-Series AHite Jinro
PlcoskinMedical device8 billionSeries BTony Investment, HGI, Hilio Investment, SJ Investment, We Ventures, Stick Ventures
SwitchwonFintech1.7 billionPre-Series ADaekyo Investment, Infobank
BillyoRoom Rental Platform-GrantTIPS
PeuldaProptech-SeedFast Ventures
YMXMetaverse5.3 billionSeries AShinhan Investment & Securities, Brick Investment, Marina Way Capital
PlanaAAM-GrantScaleup TIPS
CNRIKOREAClimate tech-GrantTIPS
KB elementMaterials8 billionSeries A bridgeA STONE VENTURES, We Ventures, Hana Securities, Shinhan Capital, Friend Investment Partners

Major Funding

  • Sapeon, an AI semiconductor company, has attracted a 60 billion KRW investment, valuing the company at 500 billion KRW. Sapeon is a spin-off from SK Telecom and adopts a full-stack AI strategy, providing AI services ranging from AI semiconductor-based hardware to AI algorithms and software, including AI-based services. The company plans to release an inference NPU in the second half of this year.
  • Entertainment tech company Knowmerce has secured 25 billion KRW in funding, bringing their total to 60 billion KRW. Nomers operates hip-hop artist IP platforms ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘From,’ and has excelled in various businesses such as content, e-commerce, and performances. The company achieved 18.5 billion KRW in revenue last year and successfully turned a profit at the end of last year.
  • Dotmill has attracted 15.8 billion KRW in investment. Dotmill is a specialized entertainment company in the field of sensory media, focusing on media content production, exhibition and experiential space management, and the development of VR, AR, and XR technologies. The company plans to use this investment to strengthen its media content production capabilities and expand internationally.
  • Carbon-neutral graphene manufacturer KB Element has secured an 8 billion KRW investment, accumulating a total of 17.7 billion KRW. KB Element possesses graphene technology through plasma exfoliation, reducing manufacturing costs and promoting graphene commercialization through environmentally friendly processes. The company has plans for a technology-specialized IPO in 2025.

#Trend Analysis

The Pet Sector: Experiencing Yearly Funding Growth Amidst Investment Winters

The government has recently bestowed upon the pet industry a national strategic business of esteemed title, embarking on a journey to cultivate four distinct pillars within this burgeoning domain: pet food, pet health, pet services, and pet tech. This strategic move aims to provide a nurturing environment for startups operating within these sectors, bolstered by an arsenal of measures including amplified investment funds, enhanced infrastructure, institutional refinement, and backing for ventures looking to spread their wings beyond national borders.

In the ever-evolving landscape of startup investments, the pet sector has managed to maintain its allure even amidst a broader decline in such endeavors. A conspicuous ascent of pet startups was witnessed in the year 2021, a time when the pandemic catalyzed a surge in interest. Notably, sizable investments were injected into e-commerce enterprises dealing in pet essentials like food, treats, and supplies. Concurrently, digital integration found its way into existing pet-related services, enriching the realm of healthcare and even extending to the somber domain of funeral services, all in the noble pursuit of enhancing pet care.

One watershed moment in this journey unfolded with GS Retail’s acquisition of PetFriends in 2021, marking a significant milestone as one of the most triumphant exits for a pet-centric startup.

Despite a somewhat lackluster investment climate in 2022, pet startups managed to defy the odds, witnessing a staggering 42% surge in funding when juxtaposed with the previous year. As of August this year, a significant amount equivalent to KRW 51.8 billion has been injected into Pet tech startups, and if this trend continues, it is expected to surpass the previous total amount.

Evidently, the healthcare and wellness segments have been at the forefront in attracting substantial investments, with all-encompassing platforms providing a range of pet-centric services, spanning from product sales to healthcare, emerging as the prime beneficiaries of these financial injections.

Simultaneously, corporate giants have taken keen interest in diversifying their portfolios, capitalizing on the burgeoning pet population. These titans have embarked on a journey of investment and strategic acquisitions to stake their claim in this burgeoning market. Regrettably, the overarching anxiety prevailing in the investment arena has stifled any significant M&A or investment ventures since the epochal PetFriends acquisition. However, it is imperative to note that the majority of pet investments are still in their nascent stages, characterized by relatively modest deal sizes. This, nonetheless, augurs well for the future, as the global phenomenon of pet humanization, wherein our furry companions are regarded as cherished family members, continues its inexorable ascent. All products and services accounting for the complete lifecycle of pets are poised for substantial growth as a result.

Furthermore, the government’s visionary blueprint to catapult the domestic pet market into a formidable KRW15 trillion industry by the year 2027 holds the promise of unlocking new vistas for indigenous startups. This ambitious endeavor seeks to position the pet industry as a major player on the international stage, offering a plethora of opportunities for domestic ventures to flourish and thrive.

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter


Access to the latest Korean startup news and startup database for free

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter