Scroll to top
© 2020, Startuprecipe theme by Rssow

[StartupRecipe] South Korean Startup Funding Dips in August

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Sep. 4~ Sep. 8]

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

IamhereFurniture platform1 billionPre-Series A
DiscoProptech-Series B bridgeTranslink Investment
YeolhyulKanghoWebtoon IP-Pre-Series ANaver webtoon, Laguna Investment, KB Investment
Madeleine MemorySecondhand market solution-Pre-Series ACoolidge Corner Investment, D.Camp, Angel Investors
BBodekCleaning service18 billionSeries BIBK Investment & Securities, NexTrans, IGIS Asset Management
Story ProtocolWeb371.2 billionSeries Aa16z, Samsung Next, Endevor Group, Angel Investors
BluefrogDiscount solution200 millionSeedKukbo Design, Woomi E&C, SamKoo I&C, Ajou Continuum, The Inventionlab
Losh KoreaSenior care100 millionSeedKukbo Design, Woomi E&C, SamKoo I&C, Ajou Continuum, The Inventionlab
Seoul Property InsightProptech300 millionSeedKukbo Design, Woomi E&C, SamKoo I&C, Ajou Continuum, The Inventionlab
RealizableProptech100 millionSeedKukbo Design, Woomi E&C, SamKoo I&C, Ajou Continuum, The Inventionlab
The vplanetAd tech200 millionSeedKukbo Design, Woomi E&C, SamKoo I&C, Ajou Continuum, The Inventionlab
FloydRobot vision system200 millionSeedKukbo Design, Woomi E&C, SamKoo I&C, Ajou Continuum, The Inventionlab
KalmanRobotics450 millionSeedKukbo Design, Woomi E&C, SamKoo I&C, Ajou Continuum, The Inventionlab
MobidooLive commerce7 billionSeries B BridgeKiwoom Investment, V Platform Investment, SBI Investment. Hana Securities
EnhansAI commerce solution7.5 billionSeries AL&S Venture Capital, KDB Capital, Timefolio Asset Management, AOA Capital Partners
SupergateFabless13 billionSeries BStick Ventures, Albatross Investment, NauIB Capital, Shinhan Capital
AimmoAI Data solution14.4 billionPre-IPONvestor, Korea Investment & Securities, DS Asset Management, S&S Investment, E&Investment
lane4 companyMobility-Starventures
VA StudioVFX-M&AVA Corporation
GloudDental Healthcare-Hana Financial Group
EnkorwithusForeigner service-GrantTIPS
StudiomatakContent studio-GrantTIPS
ShinstarrFood robotics5.7 billionSeries AWoowha brothers, Knet Investment, Hana Securities, Wiz Domain, NauIB Capital, Enlight Venture
CLEMachine vision3.5 billionPre-Series AFuture Play, Shinhan Capital, KB Investment, IBK Industrial Bank of Korea, Union Investment Partners

Major Funding

  • Storyprotocol attracts KRW 71.2 billion in investment. Storyprotocol is a web3.0-based IP infrastructure startup that supports easy management of the entire IP development process, including licensing, and provides features like revenue sharing. It has gained attention with investments from major global players like a16z.
  • Bboddek secures KRW 18 billion in investment, completing a KRW 51 billion series B investment. Bboddek operates services like ‘Bboddek kids,’ which rents out sterilized dishes to childcare centers, and ‘Bboddek Biz,’ which offers dishwashing and dish rental services to foodservice establishments. They have surpassed 2,000 clients and plan to expand their service area with the investment.
  • Supergate has secured KRW 1.3 billion in investment. Established in 2018, Supergate is a fabless company and a Level-0 design house that engages with customers from the early stages of semiconductor design for discussions on specifications and progresses with the design.

#Trend Analysis

South Korean Startup Funding Dips in August

In August, startup funding in South Korea hit KRW 359.4 billion, marking a significant dip from July and a whopping 69% decline compared to the same period in 2022. What’s more concerning is that the influx of capital into startups this year falls short of the levels seen in 2020.

Fortunately, a single company’s impressive KRW 100 billion infusion helped keep the total funding above the KRW 300 billion mark. However, the month-to-month funding landscape remains volatile, lacking a discernible trend line.

The standout recipient of funding was Korea Credit Data (KCD), which raked in a cool KRW 100 billion. This achievement comes hot on the heels of KCD attaining unicorn status just last year. Following closely behind was the fabless startup Sapeon, securing KRW 60 billion, and Indian fintech trailblazer Balance Hero, bagging KRW 30 billion.

In terms of sectors, software companies specializing in AI solutions emerged as the biggest beneficiaries of funding. Notably, the fintech sector also witnessed a resurgence in largescale investments. The bio/healthcare domain, spanning medical devices and new drug ventures, experienced a notable surge in funding through Series B and beyond rounds. Meanwhile, manufacturing, including space and robotics, garnered considerable attention from investors. Early investments were also seen in Pettech.

The count of successful companies amassing over KRW 10 billion dwindled to fewer than ten. Despite KRW 100 billion in investments, a disproportionate distribution persisted, with one company commanding a staggering 27% of the total. Interestingly, despite the overall dip in funding, the percentage of growth-stage firms at Series B and beyond registered an uptick from the first half-year average.

M&A activity remained below the ten-mark. Notably, in August, UCK Partners made waves with its KRW 105 billion acquisition of the popular Korean dessert brand, Sulbing. Other noteworthy listings included the collaboration between Crowdworks and NAVER HyperClovaX.

August saw nine female-founded companies collectively raise KRW 13.7 billion. While this stands as an encouraging sign for the growth of women-led startups in South Korea, it’s worth noting that initial investments were exclusively made by women, and a significant portion of the funding came from government subsidies. This dynamic could potentially pose a growth limitation for these ventures.

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter


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

sign up for Startup Recipe newsletter