What made news this week in the South Korea startup ecosystem?

The year ahead looks good for Korean startups as venture capitalists are funding aggressively as reports of quarter one of 2021 suggests record investments. Also, Coupang gets named as a large business group and LG Electronics & Mirae Asset launch new fund. Also in news is that Seoul government to support startups to help employment stability.

Venture investment sets record in Q1

Source: The Korea Herald

Kang Sung-cheon, vice minister of SMEs and startups, talks about Korea’s venture investment in 1st quarter of 2021. (MSS)

The country’s startups attracted a record amount of investment in the first quarter, data from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups showed Tuesday. During the first three months of the year, the country’s venture investments jumped 61 percent from the same period last year to a record high of 1.24 trillion won ($1.18 billion). Some 989 venture capital rounds at 558 startups were closed during the first three months in the country, the best performance recorded since 2000. Of the total invested, 72.9 percent consisted of follow-up investments. The top three sectors that attracted the most investment were commerce, ICT service and bio.

LG Electronics, Mirae Asset to launch 100 bln won venture capital fund

Source: Yonhap

Photo provided by LG Electronics Inc. on April 30, 2021, shows Cho Joo-wan (L), the chief strategy officer of LG Electronics, and Lee Man-hee, head of Mirae Asset Capital Co., posing for a photo after signing an agreement to establish a venture capital fund in Seoul. (Yonhap)

LG Electronics Inc. said Friday it has joined hands with Mirae Asset Group, South Korea’s major financial service provider, to launch a venture capital fund worth 100 billion won (US$90 million) as it seeks to find new growth engines. LG and Mirae Asset will inject 50 billion won each to create the investment fund. Mirae Asset Capital will run the fund for the next 10 years. LG said the money will be used in supporting promising startups in businesses related to electric vehicles, digital health care and data.

 

Coupang named as a “large business group” by the FTC

Source: KoreaJoongang Daily

Coupang was designated as a “large business group” by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday, subjecting the U.S. company to a wide range of additional regulations. In a twist, no leader was designated, Korea’s anti-trust regulator saying that the company would be its own head.
The list of business groups with more than 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) of assets is drawn up annually. Activities of the designated groups are subject to extra scrutiny in an effort to prevent abusive related-party transactions.This year’s list has 71 groups, up from 64 last year.

Daejeon Center for Creative Economy and Innovation to foster social ventures for the second consecutive year

Source: Platum

Group photo of the 2nd SIC participants

The Daejeon Creative Economy Innovation Center is conducting the ‘2nd 2021 Social Impact Changers’ to discover and foster technology-based social ventures in Daejeon. In order to foster systematic social ventures,’Social Impact Changers’, which was first introduced last year, is a program that discovers and fosters social ventures that solve social problems based on technological capabilities and ideas in Daejeon for a total of 12 weeks.

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