The Korean startup ecosystem can look forward to a promising year as venture investors show immense faith in its growth. In the 2022 first quarter, from January to March, the venture investment in South Korea has been a record rise and crossed the 2 trillion won figure for the first time.
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced that venture investment in the first quarter of 2022 recorded the highest ever of 2.82.7 trillion won ($219 billion). It is a 57.9 % increase from the previous record of 1.31 trillion won ($102 billion) in the first quarter of 2021. It broke the 2 trillion won mark for the first time in the first quarter. In the first quarter of 2022, the number of investments (1402 cases), investment per case (1.49 billion won), the number of investee companies (688 companies), and investment per company (3.03 billion won) were also recorded as all-time highs.
Looking at the monthly investment performance, January – March broke the previous record of investment in January – March last year. By sector, investment in all sectors increased compared to the first quarter of last year. In particular, the information and communication technology ( ICT ) service ( 704.2 billion won), distribution/service ( 429.1 billion won), and bio/medical ( 405.1 billion won) sectors, which are emerging as major investment sectors, account for about half of the total venture investment.
New Venture funds & individual investors also rise
Companies that attracted more than 10 billion won ($7.8 million) in investment in the first quarter more than doubled compared to the same period of the previous year. 52 companies attracted investment of 10 billion won or more, which already accounted for about one-third of the 157 companies that attracted more than 10 billion won in investment last year.
In the first quarter, 93 funds were formed, the largest number. This is an increase of 62.8% (+990.5 billion won) compared to the same period of the previous year and is the first to exceed the 2 trillion won mark in the first quarter. More than half of the funds were found to be close to 1.5 trillion won ($1.17 billion) in January.
Individual investment in the first quarter more than tripled from the same period of the previous year (+276.8%, +389.7 billion won) to 530.5 billion won ($416 million), accounting for 20.7% of venture funds investment in the first quarter of this year. As such, as individuals have recently shown a lot of interest in venture investment, it was confirmed that a lot of personal funds flowed into not only the stock market but also venture funds.
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