Venture Capital

Corporate investments & new deals for Korean startups

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While South Korean President Moon Jae-in attended the Group of Seven (G-7) summit and unveiled plans to help lower-income nations procure COVID-19 vaccines at Cornwall in the UK, in Korea giant companies like Naver, SK Telecom and Mercedes Benz announced more support for Korean startups. Naver to invest in 70 startups under its accelerator scheme, D2 Startup Factory. SK Telecom and Mercedes Benz to form an alliance to discover and develop promising startups.

Woori Financial begins its startup incubation program and LG Energy solution preps for an IPO. Also, Blockchain startup Firmachain’s electronic contract platform DONUE to be used by Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. South Korea’s top internet portal operator.

At 6, Naver’s D2SF keeps investing in startups

Source: KoreaJoongangDaily

Naver will set aside a floor in an office building in Pangyo, Gyeonggi, for tech startups it invests in. D2SF is Naver’s in-house accelerator. It invests in business-to-business (B2B) start-ups that sell technology or services for corporate clients. Unlike other venture capital companies or accelerators, D2SF — short for D2 Smart Factory — invests Naver’s money only.
“Six years ago when Naver first started seed-investment in tech start-ups, there weren’t that many to invest in,” said Yang Sang-hwan, D2SF’s leader, during an online press conference Tuesday celebrating the company’s sixth anniversary. Yang has headed D2SF from the start. This year, D2SF will do a similar level of investing in start-ups as last year, or possibly more, Yang said. In 2020, the company funded 22 start-ups.

SKT and Benz Korea to discover promising start-ups and cooperate in business

Source: Yonhap 

Mercedes-Benz Korea CEO Thomas Klein (from left) and SKT Corporate 2 Center Director Ha Hyung-il (photo: SK Telecom.)

SK Telecom (SKT) announced on June  13th that it has decided to cooperate with Mercedes-Benz Korea to discover promising startups and develop business. SKT will participate as a key partner of ‘Startup Autobahn’, a startup cooperation platform. It will support the growth and development of startups in new information and communication technology (ICT) fields such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and metaverse.

Startup Autobahn is a global open innovation platform established in 2016 by the Daimler Group, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. It supports startup companies with expert mentoring and networking opportunities, and attracting investment through venture capital (VC).It discovered more than 5,000 startups from all over the world and jointly conducted pilot projects in various fields such as AI and mobility.

DONUE Expands Electronic Contract Service to the Public Sector

On the June 7th, FirmaChain’s blockchain based global electronic contract platform DONUE announced Sejong Center for the Performing Arts’ decision to become a client of DONUE.

Woori Financial picks 17 startups to join its startup incubator

Source: The Korea Herald

Judges listen to a presentation about startups that applied for this year‘s Dinno Lab program at the lab‘s meeting room in Yeouido, western Seoul. (Woori Financial Group)

Woori Financial Group said Friday it selected 17 companies to join its startup incubation program, beefing up its effort to find new partners and accelerate digital transformation. Established in 2019, “Dinno Lab” — an abbreviation for “digital innovation lab” — is a training program provided by the banking group to nurture tech startups. From among 274 applications for this year’s program, startups from seven sectors, including ecommerce, blockchain, artificial intelligence, property tech and pet-related services, were picked as finalists.

LG Energy Solution’s Stock Listing to Become Korea’s Largest IPO Yet

Source: KoreaTechToday

LG Energy Solution started its IPO process, bringing about South Korea’s most extensive stock listing and aiming to use the proceeds to cultivate the global EV battery market.

LG Energy Solution, LG’s automotive battery manufacturing unit, announced that it had officially started its initial public offering (IPO) process. The electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer estimated that its stock listing could raise around $10 to $12 billion, leading to South Korea’s largest IPO so far.

LG Energy’s IPO could undoubtedly surpass the current record holder for the biggest-ever listing in South Korea, Samsung Life Insurance. When Samsung Life Insurance went public in 2010, its IPO brought in around 4.9 trillion won ($4.39 billion).

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