Korea’s Startup Scene Still Growing Fast
6월 5, 2013


Korea is still seeing some immense growth. According to the Korean Venture Capital Association, venture capital firms in Korea raised $191 million in the first quarter this year, up slightly from $189  million in 2012. Interestingly, there is a general slowdown in the U.S. startup scene - U.S. venture capital firms raised $4.1 billion from 35 funds during the first quarter of this year according to the National Venture Capital Association (this is about a 34% decline from 2012 and it has ben the slowest quarter since the third quarter of 2003).

The number of Korean startups has nearly doubled to 28,193 last year as opposed to 2011. There were only 15,401 five years ago in 2008. One of the main reasons for the rise could be that there is strong support from successful startup founders in Korea. For example, the popular messaging app ('the national messaging app'),  KakaoTalk is now reinvesting in fledgling Korean startups.


Also, the proliferation of mobile and smartphones has enabled Korean entrepreneurs to launch startups via mobile platforms. We wrote about the rise of mobile previously, so make sure you check that out. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Korea ranks No. 1 when it comes to wireless connectivity in the world - remember, Gwendolyn Tan from SGE had once said in a beLAUNCH interview that we could take this to our advantage and prepare for the 'wave'.

It seems that the Korean government is also gunning for its own version of Silicon Valley. The government offered support by unleashing $2.9 billion in funding to tech venture startups. President Park's initiatives to develop the country (as opposed to depending on manufacturing) will subsidize loans and provide state funded investments in new companies.


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