News in Brief from South Korea: Startups, business, economy, finance, technology & more

The time of the week to take note of some interesting news around startups and businesses in South Korea. KoreaTechDesk gets you brief news from leading news media and agencies from Korea.

S. Korea’s e-commerce market ranks 5th worldwide in 2020 amid pandemic

Source: The Korea Herald

E-Commerce

South Korea’s e-commerce market expanded nearly 20 percent in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic to rank fifth in the world, a report showed Tuesday. Local e-commerce sales came to $104.1 billion last year, up 19.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the report released by the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency and based on data from market researcher eMarketer. China topped the global e-commerce market list with $2.8 trillion, trailed by the United States with $709.8 billion, Britain with $153.6 billion and Japan with $108.7 billion.

Woowa Brothers founder to donate over $500 million to philanthropy

Source – The Korea Times 

Woowa Brothers CEO Kim Bong-jin,  and his wife, Sul Bo-mi. Courtesy:  Woowa Brothers

Kim Bong-jin, founder and CEO of Woowa Brothers which operates the nation’s leading food delivery app Baedal Minjok, became the first Korean participant in the Giving Pledge, after he and his wife, Sul Bo-mi, promised to donate more than half of their wealth. Kim is expected to donate at least $500 million, given the fact that one needs to own assets worth $1 billion to participate in the Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge is a non-binding movement of philanthropists that started in August 2010 after Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett promised to return their wealth to society.

Korean e-commerce platform TMON near raising pre-IPO funding of $278 million

Source – Pulse

TMON, S.Korea

TMON Inc., Korea’s biggest e-commerce player, raise pre-IPO investment of 305 billion won ($277.55 million) to bolster its capital base before it goes up public later this year.  According to multiple industry sources from the investment banking industry on Monday, PS Alliance, a private equity fund under Korea’s Poongsung Group, has decided to create a project fund to purchase 305 billion won in TMON bonds convertible to equity. Other venture capital firms took part as investors. Its existing shareholders KKR & Co. and Anchor Equity Partners put up an additional 80 billion won.

And follow up on last week’s news of Coupang going public with New York Stock Exhange,

S. Korea’s mobile game market surges 24 pct to 5 tln won in 2020: data

Source -Yonhap News Agency

Mobile Gaming is popular in S. Korea.

The mobile game market in South Korea logged sharp growth of over 5 trillion won (US$4.5 billion) last year amid the pandemic, data showed Thursday. Total mobile game transactions in the country were estimated at 5.3 trillion won in 2020, up 24.3 percent from the previous year, according to data from mobile app tracker IGAWorks based on estimated sales of Google’s Play store, Apple’s App Store and homegrown rival ONE Store.

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