Korean startups are attracting global attention, with investments growing year on year. In 2021, the investments have seen a record high, and rookie startups are getting needed funding support. Also, Korea’s most prominent startup festival COMEUP 2021, to be held in November 2021, opens for pre-registration for offline attendance.
Korean artificial intelligence (AI) developer, VUNO Inc. signs another deal with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Korea Startup Forum’s film on successful startup founders ‘THE Entrepreneur’ plays at the Busan International Film Festival and good news for new entertainment startup Big Planet Made signs K-Pop singer Soyu, a former member of the Sistar band.
Source: Business Korea
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced on Sept. 28 that the startup investment in South Korea for the first eight months of this year totaled 4,615.8 billion won, up 85.8 percent from a year ago. For reference, the previous yearly high, 4,304.5 billion won, was recorded last year.
From January to August this year, a total of 3,395 investments were made in 1,588 startups. Information and communication technology service providers, biotech and medical startups, and logistics service providers attracted more investment than the others and the investments in the first and second groups topped one trillion won by a margin of 308 billion won and 93.5 billion won, respectively. The investment in the third group increased to 961.8 billion won.
Source: Pulse News
A growing number of Korean startups raise a chunky 10 billion won ($83.8 million) or more in their series A round of financing that is up to five times what most startups raised a few years ago, driven by investor bet on enormous business opportunities or the market hype around tech companies.
According to sources on Thursday, a total of nine Korean startups raised 10 billion won, each, this year alone, and most of them are in future technology development such as artificial intelligence, metaverse and autonomous driving.
Upstage, a one-year-old startup, was in the spotlight for its whopping 31.6 billion won financing in a recent series A round. Another rookie startup VoyagerX raised 30 billion won in series A round held in June. Ringle, a 1:1 English tutoring platform, is known to have raised 20 billion won in its recent initial fundraising.
VUNO Signs Another Deal with Samsung Electronics to Incorporate AI-assisted Solutions into Samsung’s Premium Ceiling Type Digital Radiography System
South Korean artificial intelligence (AI) developer, VUNO Inc., announced on October 5 that the company closed a deal with global medical device manufacturer, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., to embed VUNO’s artificial intelligence-driven chest X-ray diagnostic solution, VUNO Med®-Chest X-ray™ into Samsung’s GC85A premium ceiling type digital radiography system.
The latest contract follows an earlier deal in June with Samsung to supply the VUNO Med®-Chest X-ray™ solution to the electronics maker’s mobile digital radiography system GM85, making the AI solution an adjunct to Samsung’s mobile and ceiling type digital X-ray systems and available for use by customers in Korea as well as Europe and other key markets around the world.
VUNO Med®-Chest X-ray™ is an AI-empowered medical device that assists clinicians in the detection of areas that are suspicious for pulmonary diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia by accurately identifying thoracic abnormalities on chest radiographs. Its lightweight feature driven by the optimization of AI calculation algorithm is the key factor that enables seamless integration with a wide range of X-ray devices, delivering AI results on the spot upon scanning an image.
Hyun-jun Kim, co-founder and CEO of VUNO said that “thanks to the solution’s excellent capabilities as well as a proven track record in a wide range of X-ray devices under various clinical settings, we were able to sign another deal to include VUNO Med®-Chest X-ray™ in the two premium digital X-ray systems of Samsung Electronics”. He added, “VUNO will continue to work closely with global medical device manufactures including Samsung Electronics to further expand our presence in the world market.”
‘THE Entrepreneur’, co-produced by Korea Startup Forum and Media Startup Cutting Edge, will be shown for the first time as an official invitation to the Busan International Film Festival’s ‘2021 Community Life: Kirby Road’ program on October 9th. The Korea Startup Forum is running the ‘THE Entrepreneur Campaign’ to commemorate the 5th anniversary of its foundation, and an interview project with 50 entrepreneurs.
‘THE Entrepreneur’ is specially designed content to inscribe the meaning of entrepreneurship, and 7 entrepreneurs who lead innovation in Korea will appear – Woowa Brothers Chairman Kim Bong-jin, Market Curly CEO Kim Seul-ah, Zigbang CEO Ahn Seong-woo, Seung-geon Lee, CEO of Viva Republica, who founded Toss; Geum-chae Min, CEO of Zikooin Company, the plant-based meat substitute company; Kim Hak-soo, CEO of Social Bean. It contains the sincere and vivid story of 7 entrepreneurs with various backgrounds and experiences along the journey of trouble, effort, and trial and error.
Singer Soyu, a former member of Sistar, has signed a contract with new startup label Big Planet Made (BPM), the agency announced Wednesday.
“Big Planet Made has taken its first step in the entertainment industry by signing our first artist Soyu,” said the label in a statement. “We plan on discovering talented groups through a well-structured system and build up the company with a unique story of our own.” Soyu also posted on her Instagram on Wednesday that she has decided to leave Starship Entertainment, where she debuted as a member of Sistar and start fresh with a new agency.
“Please look forward to my upcoming activities with refreshed energy from the new company,” she wrote.