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[StartupRecipe] 6 banks to accelerate startups in Korea

#Weekly Funding Overview

[Jan. 18~ Jan. 22]

The total funds raised by Korean startups of this week is KRW 30.5 billion.

FindaFintech11.5 billionSeries BKIA, Translink Investment, 500startups
RuneanAgriculture-M&AGreen Lab
PlcoskinBio/Healthcare2.5 billionSeries APrimer, LOTVacuum
SanhaitHotel solution-M&AYanolja
DansaekFemtech1 billionWadiz Ventures, CNTTech, GAIA Venture Partners, Wise Planet Company
Urban Digital MarketingMarketing2 billionKB Securities, UTC Investment
AutophagysciencesBio/Healthcare7.5 billionSeries AIBK BANK, Cloudib Investment, Kolon Investment
IMBiologicsBio/Healthcare4 billionSeedKB Investment, Atinum Investment
FUTURERACompany Builder-Futureplay
SeeondEco-friendly fashion brand-SeedBluepoint Partners
TagbyMarketing-Eland Retail
Deneerhealthcare300 millionSeedHana Venture
MedipressoFood1.7 billion
Ideal PeopleFashion-Musinsa
TEUIDAEducation-TTMIK, Longtailbooks

Major Funding

  • Fintech startup Finda, provides mobile loan brokerage and management services. They raised KRW 11.5 billion in Series B funding round bringing the valuation of the company to KRW 100 billion won. Finda is a mobile loan brokerage platform that allows users to check the loan conditions of 26 financial institutions in Korea. Last year, users increased by 1,200% and the total amount of loan approval reached KRW 59 trillion.

More Funding

  • Urban Digital Marketing, an integrated digital marketing company, has secured KRW 2 billion from KB Securities and UTC Investment. The company is establishing a joint growth partnership model with brand companies with the goal of brand sales growth as its top priority.
  • Medipresso, which develops tea capsules and tea extraction machines, raised KRW 1.7 billion in bridge investment  and it plans to build the nation’s largest coffee & tea capsules smart factory by the first half of this year.
  • Dansaek, a Fam Tech company, has raised KRW 1 billion in bridge funding. Dansaek was established in 2017 as a company specializing in women’s functional underwear and has recorded sales growth of more than 100% every year.
  • Deneer which provides MoreDen, an online network platform for dentists/dental college students, raised KRW 300 million seed funding for its service expansion. 

Undisclosed Funding

  • Futurera, which creates an environment where creative people can challenge their businesses without fear, has a strategic partnership with Future Play to make mutual equity investments.
  • Seeond, an eco-friendly loungewear startup, raised seed funding from Bluepoint Partners.
  • Tagby, a comprehensive content marketing platform, attracts investment from E-Land Retail
  • Teuida, a Korean conversation learning app, raised strategic investment.
  • Idealpeople, overseas showroom agency attracts strategic investment from Musinsa


  • Yanolja acquires Sanhait, Korea’s leading hotel solution company.
  • Data Agriculture Startup Green Labs acquires One-Stop Farm Design Automation Platform, Runean’s V-House.
  • Buzzvil acquires Pincrux, a mobile advertising platform.

#Trend Analysis

6 banks to accelerate startups in Korea

Banks and financial institutions have played a significant role in the Korean startup ecosystem. Six major banks in Korea run their own accelerating program to foster startups: KDB Industrial Bank, KB Bank, Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank, KEB Hana Bank and IBK Industrial Bank.

The financial services industry is seeking for digital transformation of the financial ecosystem through collaboration with startups that have innovative technology. Banks provide financial support to startups and in return startups offer innovative solutions in areas such as payment, lending, and blockchain for banks. This strategic relationship between them is becoming the new normal. 

In Korea, Banks have started their own startup incubator program since 2015. Ever since then, not only is the size of support but also the amount of investment in startups have increased gradually.

Here are 6 Korean banks that passionately help startups grow to the next level. 

Shinhan Financial Group established the accelerating program called Shinhan Futures Lab in 2015,  first amongst the financial institutions in Korea. This six month program offers acceleration programs, coworking space as well as funding for growth. In 2020, Shinhan launched a new brand called ‘Shinhan Square Bridge’, a nationwide innovative growth platform to strengthen its support for startups. The platform runs in Seoul, Incheon, and Daejeon and each program focuses on a specific industry. 

KDB Industrial Bank offers regular IR events for startups through the funding platform called KDB Nextround. The IR roadshow was held nationwide, connecting local startups to investors. As of the end of December 2020, 358 companies succeeded in raising KRW 2.1918 trillion through this platform. 

Woori Bank launched DINOLAB (Digital Innovation Lab) in 2019. Powered by AWS, DINOLAB operates two separate programs. One is a Developer lab that supports testbeds for startups developing technologies and services that can be applied to financial services. The other is Wibee Fintech Lab that supports startups in the fintech sector. 

Industrial Bank of Korea runs IBK Changgong. It runs a 5 months program in locations such as Mapo(Seoul), Guro(Seoul), and Busan. Each program is powered by selected existing Korean accelerators. The program has invested and loaned more than KRW 130 billion in more than 300 startups since the program has begun.

KB Financial Group runs KB Innovation Hub provides a 6 month incubation program. As of the end of 2020, 111 startups were selected and the amount they raised from KB Financial Group was KRW 52.3 billion. KB Kookmin Card has run its own open innovation program since 2017. Called Future Nine, they aim to develop synergies with startups.

Hana Bank launched a fintech support program in 2015 under the name of 1Q Lab and rebranded it to Hana 1Q Agile Lab in 2017 to strengthen startup support. It has selected 90 startups until now and has newly launched outbound programs for domestic startups to help them enter the global market.

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