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Insider’s Guide to
Korea’s Tech & Startup Ecosystem
2017
Contact Us:
● execs@g3partners.asia
● +8270 8867 1511
● www.g3partners.asia
Nathan Millard Erik Cornelius
Founder & CEO Co...
The Backdrop
The following slide captures some of the common images
people associate with modern Korea...
www.g3partners.a...
www.g3partners.asia
www.g3partners.asia
But,
It wasn’t always like this…
Gangnam in the 1950s
Rapid & continuous change is the Korean norm
www.g3partners.asia
Gangnam in 2017
Korea - 10 Quick Facts
www.g3partners.asia
53 M People
(26 M in greater Seoul)
Top 15
Global Economy
(GDP over US$1 TN)
2 BILLION CONSUMERS WITHIN
A 3-HOUR FLIGHT
#1...
Highly Developed
Tech Infrastructure &
Mobile Broadband
ACCESS TO MOST PROFITABLE
MARKETS IN ASIA
#3
#4
Sophisticated,
Fic...
OPTIMAL TEST BED FOR NEW
TECH INNOVATIONS
#5
#6
Good Test Market
For Asia
65%College
Graduates, Many With
International Ed...
THE WORLD’S MOST
TECH-OBSESSED POPULATION
#7
#8
Reasonable Levels
Of English,
Especially Among
Startups
Home Of Global
Bra...
BEST STARTUP ECOSYSTEM IN ASIA
#9
#10
FTAs With 52
Countries
(Includes 74% Of
Global GDP)
Foreigner-Friendly
Government An...
Korea
Tech backdrop
www.g3partners.asia
Market Share
Samsung & LG: 80% > Apple: 12% Monthly Active Users
Kakaotalk: 42M > Facebook: 14.5M
>
Local Brands Rule Kore...
Author’s note
www.g3partners.asia
Are you surprised that Facebook is not Korea’s dominant social media platform, that Goog...
Foreign Invasion?
www.g3partners.asia
www.g3partners.asia
Foreign Tech In Korea
www.g3partners.asia
Luxury Brands Are Booming
Automotive Cosmetics Apparel
Author’s note
www.g3partners.asia
When I arrived in Korea for the first time in 2004, foreign brands were
rare. As FTAs ha...
We’re a fast-growing team of marketers, PR pros and communication experts. We
help startups expand beyond their home marke...
- Website design, development, content creation and re-writes
- Social media strategy, management & ads
- Multimedia conte...
Access to innovation is essential for large corporations. We understand the startup
ecosystem in Asia and we’re perfectly ...
Korea’s Startup
Ecosystem
www.g3partners.asia
Author’s note
www.g3partners.asia
I started working with startups in Korea back in 2012, just as the current ‘startup boom...
Seed Series A Later Stage
K Cube Ventures DSC Investment Anchor Equity Partner
Bon Angels Neoplux LB Investment
TIPS DS As...
Seed Series A Later Stage
500 Startups Formation 8 Softbank Ventures
Strong Ventures Bain Capital Goldman Sachs
Y Combinat...
● Investment in 2016 increased
by 23% from previous year
● Number of companies invested
increased 50% to 313
● Data does n...
Forward Ventures (Coupang)
E-Commerce
• USD $1Bn in 2015
• Softbank Ventures
4:33 Creative Lab
Gaming
• USD $100M in 2014
...
Viva Republica (Toss)
Fintech
• USD $48M
• Paypal, Altos Ventures,
Bessemer Venture
Partners, Partech Ventures
www.g3partn...
Woowa Bros
FOOD DELIVERY
• USD $50M
• Hillhouse Capital
consortium
Lezhin Entertainment
ONLINE PUBLISHING
• USD $43M
• IMM...
Socar
CAR SHARING & RENTAL
• USD $55M
• SK, Bain Capital
Zigbang
REAL ESTATE
• USD $50M
• Stonebridge Capital,
Capstone Pa...
Startup to Unicorn
www.g3partners.asia
Source: Platum
Kakao
Messaging, O2O, Gaming, Fintech
• IPO in 2014
• Valued at $5Bn...
Korea’s Top Accelerators
> Sparklabs
> KStartup
> Lotte Accelerator
> Samsung C-Lab
> SK Planet
> Shift.
> Orange FAB
> Fu...
> Google Campus
> Maru180
> D Camp
> WeWork
> MyWorkSpace
> The Bitcoin Center
> Seoul GSC
> Hive Arena
> Fast Five
> 10K
...
> Startup Grind
> Drink Entrepreneurs
> Wine On Wednesday
> First Thursdays
> Koreans in Mobile (KIM)
> Seoul Tech Society...
www.g3partners.asia
Large Scale Startup Events
Rank 2014 2015 2016
1st USA S.E.Asia China
2nd China USA S.E.Asia
3rd S.E.Asia China USA
Desired Overseas Market
www.g3par...
Author’s note
www.g3partners.asia
The last slide indicates that Korean founders’ most desired market for expansion is Chin...
• $33B USD pledged for building “creative
economy” (over 5 years)
• $2B+ pledged for 2017, just for startups
• Helped to l...
Govt. Agencies Supporting Startups
New Entrepreneur/ Early
Stage Support
• 12 programs
• Funding from $17K to $85K
• Ex) TIPS: Angel investment
of $35M in se...
Ministry of Science, ICT and Future
Planning
• USD $127M
• Science/Tech focused
• Focused on establishing infrastructure f...
>> USD $43M
>> Media/content focused
>> Early stage with proprietary tech for media
>> Seeks to stimulate an ecosystem for...
Author’s note
www.g3partners.asia
The last few slides demonstrate an amazing level of government and private
support, but ...
> K-Startup Grand Challenge
Launched in 2016 K-Startup Grand Challenge
invites foreign-founded startups for three
months a...
Author’s note
www.g3partners.asia
Support for foreigners and foreign entrepreneurs in Korea is an extremely good sign.
The...
Author’s note
www.g3partners.asia
You’re probably thinking, “I’m a foreign entrepreneur, how easy is it to set up shop in
...
>> The Bad:
“There are just too many startups;
investors are reeling back, and some
are even starting startups to put them...
Signs of Success
www.g3partners.asia
Yello Mobile
Mobile Services
• $2.5 ~ 3.5 Bn
Biggest Startups by Valuation
www.g3partners.asia
Forward Ventures
E-Commerce...
4:33 Creative Lab
Gaming
• $435MM
Biggest Startups by Valuation
www.g3partners.asia
WeMakePrice
E-Commerce
• $870MM ~ 1.75...
Woowa Bros
Food Delivery
• $262~350MM
Biggest Startups by Valuation
www.g3partners.asia
Yanolja
Hospitality
• $350~435MM
S...
“Get a nice job at Samsung, son”
- Ajummas
Until recently it was socially frowned upon to join a startup or be
an entrepre...
> Nathan Millard, CEO @ G3 Partners
> Michael Hong, CEO @ RedHering
> James Jung, CEO @ beSUCCESS
> Jungwook Lim, CEO @ St...
People to Look Out for /
Connect with in Seoul Startup Ecosystem
www.g3partners.asia
Am I missing someone? Email me (natha...
People to Look Out for /
Connect with in Seoul Startup Ecosystem
www.g3partners.asia
Am I missing someone? Email me (natha...
> Elaine Ramirez, Freelance tech writer
> Phil Yoon, CEO @ Big Basin Capital
> Eugene Kim, CEO @ Sparklabs
> Hyemin Lee, C...
a
Author’s note
www.g3partners.asia
The wonderful people on the previous slide have been selected as ‘go to people’ in
the...
Hot Trends that Foreign
Brands / Startups Can
Leverage
www.g3partners.asia
Fintech is one of the most promising areas of
innovation and growth in Korea, which has
suffered from obsolete banking sys...
● $10 Bn market
● 5 of Top 10 mobile games are foreign
● Foreign games grew by 2X per year for the
last 3 years
● Mobile g...
● K-Fashion is a $46 Bn market
● K-Beauty is $8 Bn market
● Industry is ripe for disruption, as local brands still
rely on...
● Trendsetter in Asia (music, film, TV)
● K-Pop mania in Asia (and west?)
● Multi-Channel Networks that promote and
manage...
● Hyundai pursuing autonomous vehicle
innovation
● Government support
● Opportunities in automotive tech
partnerships
www....
● Korea is one of Asia’s largest
E-commerce markets
● Coupang recently raised $1Bn
● Regulations easing
● Opportunities fo...
● Songdo ‘completed’ in 2015
● Samsung & LG pursuing smart home
opportunities (and investing globally)
● Government suppor...
● Koreans are very tech savvy
● Koreans work hard, so helping them
save time is an opportunity
● Overseas business service...
● Air quality in Korea is worsening,
awareness of environment
increasing
● Heavy reliance of coal power and
fine dust from...
www.g3partners.asia
Services for Singles & Seniors
● Demographic shift in Korea away from
multi-generational households
● ...
● Of course barriers to entry exist
● Government desire doesn’t always mean results
● Samsung (and other conglomerates) ar...
● Early movers have an advantage
● Korea’s a small market, but Koreans are big
spenders
● It’s easier doing business in Ko...
Got questions or suggestions?
execs@g3partners.asia
www.g3partners.asiaConnect with Us: Facebook
MARKETING • PR • GROWTH
f...
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Insider Guide to Korea's Tech and Startup Ecosystem in 2017 - G3 Partners

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Korea has become one of Asia's most important startup hubs. Here is a detailed look at the movers and shakers, support systems, investors and top performing startups in 2017. Compiled by the industry insiders at G3 Partners, we layer analysis on top of facts, stats and lists.

• New investment funds for 2017
• Korean investors & global VCs in Korea
• Korea's biggest investments of 2015 & 2016
• Korea's top accelerators and co-working spaces
• Startup meetups and events in Korea
• Top markets for Korean startups
• Startup support for Koreans and foreigners
• Korean unicorns & top startups
• Tech & startup trends
• Who's who
• And tons more...

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Insider Guide to Korea's Tech and Startup Ecosystem in 2017 - G3 Partners

  1. 1. Insider’s Guide to Korea’s Tech & Startup Ecosystem 2017
  2. 2. Contact Us: ● execs@g3partners.asia ● +8270 8867 1511 ● www.g3partners.asia Nathan Millard Erik Cornelius Founder & CEO Co-Founder & COO LinkedIn LinkedIn Meet The Authors
  3. 3. The Backdrop The following slide captures some of the common images people associate with modern Korea... www.g3partners.asia
  4. 4. www.g3partners.asia
  5. 5. www.g3partners.asia But, It wasn’t always like this…
  6. 6. Gangnam in the 1950s Rapid & continuous change is the Korean norm www.g3partners.asia Gangnam in 2017
  7. 7. Korea - 10 Quick Facts www.g3partners.asia
  8. 8. 53 M People (26 M in greater Seoul) Top 15 Global Economy (GDP over US$1 TN) 2 BILLION CONSUMERS WITHIN A 3-HOUR FLIGHT #1 #2
  9. 9. Highly Developed Tech Infrastructure & Mobile Broadband ACCESS TO MOST PROFITABLE MARKETS IN ASIA #3 #4 Sophisticated, Fickle & Demanding Tech Consumers
  10. 10. OPTIMAL TEST BED FOR NEW TECH INNOVATIONS #5 #6 Good Test Market For Asia 65%College Graduates, Many With International Education
  11. 11. THE WORLD’S MOST TECH-OBSESSED POPULATION #7 #8 Reasonable Levels Of English, Especially Among Startups Home Of Global Brands (Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Posco)
  12. 12. BEST STARTUP ECOSYSTEM IN ASIA #9 #10 FTAs With 52 Countries (Includes 74% Of Global GDP) Foreigner-Friendly Government And Population
  13. 13. Korea Tech backdrop www.g3partners.asia
  14. 14. Market Share Samsung & LG: 80% > Apple: 12% Monthly Active Users Kakaotalk: 42M > Facebook: 14.5M > Local Brands Rule Korean Tech Market Share Naver: 50% > Google: 37% > > www.g3partners.asia Source: Kakao
  15. 15. Author’s note www.g3partners.asia Are you surprised that Facebook is not Korea’s dominant social media platform, that Google doesn’t dominate search and that Apple commands just 12% of Korea’s smartphone market? Korean consumers are perhaps the most mature technology consumers in the world. Local brands are so dominant because they are experts at catering specifically to Korean tastes in a way that the most successful global tech global brands have so far failed to do. Korea presents a great opportunity for global tech firms, but localisation is absolutely critical. Your marketing strategy will NOT copy/paste in Korea and translation is NOT equivalent to localisation. Nimble startups could stand a better chance than lumbering giants. Coming up - a few examples of foreign tech firms that are making an impact in Korea.
  16. 16. Foreign Invasion? www.g3partners.asia
  17. 17. www.g3partners.asia Foreign Tech In Korea
  18. 18. www.g3partners.asia Luxury Brands Are Booming Automotive Cosmetics Apparel
  19. 19. Author’s note www.g3partners.asia When I arrived in Korea for the first time in 2004, foreign brands were rare. As FTAs have opened up trade with Korea and as Koreans garner more disposable income their thirst for luxury has increased dramatically. Along with this a number of new industries have emerged quickly and present opportunities for foreign firms. These include Pop music, TV dramas, cosmetics and cosmetic surgery, PC & mobile gaming.
  20. 20. We’re a fast-growing team of marketers, PR pros and communication experts. We help startups expand beyond their home markets through practical marketing support that helps them achieve real business goals like securing customers and partners and raising investment. We’re based in Asia, but have roots in the West. We’re super-connected to the Asian and Silicon Valley startup ecosystems. www.g3partners.asia * COMMERCIAL BREAK* (1/3) G3 Partners Are ‘Asia’s Startup Marketing Experts’
  21. 21. - Website design, development, content creation and re-writes - Social media strategy, management & ads - Multimedia content creation and ads - Marketing brochures, banners and flyers - Public Relations, media outreach, press releases - Crowdfunding campaigns, including strategy, campaign page development, pre-marketing and full campaign execution - Pitch coaching and investment support www.g3partners.asia * COMMERCIAL BREAK* (2/3) Marketing, PR & Cross-border Growth for Startups
  22. 22. Access to innovation is essential for large corporations. We understand the startup ecosystem in Asia and we’re perfectly positioned to help organizations gain access. We're always happy to provide information and introductions to our extensive startup networks. www.g3partners.asia * COMMERCIAL BREAK* (3/3) How We Help Corporations Connect To Innovation
  23. 23. Korea’s Startup Ecosystem www.g3partners.asia
  24. 24. Author’s note www.g3partners.asia I started working with startups in Korea back in 2012, just as the current ‘startup boom’ was kicking off. Back then there was precious little infrastructure to support startups, there was just one accelerator, around ten VCs, a small discreet Angel investment community and practically no government support. In the last five years the scene has changed beyond belief. There’s now 20+ accelerators, tons of coworking spaces and startup events, a vibrant Angel and early stage investment scene and over that period literally billions of dollars in investment by big name global investors like Black Rock, Sequoia, Softbank, Tencent and others. The government has also jumped headlong into a wide range of fiscal and logistical support. What’s more, there’s clear signs of success, in the form of a more active M&A and tech IPO environment. That’s also fostering a more high-skilled mentor pool. There’s still plenty of work to do, but the signs are that tech entrepreneurship in Korea is becoming a big deal and Seoul’s claim to being one of Asia’s premiere startup hubs is gaining legitimacy fast!
  25. 25. Seed Series A Later Stage K Cube Ventures DSC Investment Anchor Equity Partner Bon Angels Neoplux LB Investment TIPS DS Asset Mgmt. Partners Investment Fast Track Asia Smilegate Investment Stonebridge Capital Yello Financial Group Capstone Partners SL Investment The Ventures Korea Investment Partners KTB Network Magellan Tech Investment Premiere Partners STIC Investment Atinum Investment Korean Investors www.g3partners.asia
  26. 26. Seed Series A Later Stage 500 Startups Formation 8 Softbank Ventures Strong Ventures Bain Capital Goldman Sachs Y Combinator Qualcomm Altos Ventures Harbor Pacific Cap. Big Basin Capital Hillhouse Capital KOISRA Partners DT Capital Partners Tencent Rakuten Ventures Bluerun Ventures Goodwater Capital Bluerun Ventures Storm Ventures Rose Park Advisors Harbor Pacific Capital Acheron Capital BlackRock Global VCs With Korean Portfolio www.g3partners.asia
  27. 27. ● Investment in 2016 increased by 23% from previous year ● Number of companies invested increased 50% to 313 ● Data does not include outliers (see next slide) Early Stage Investment Trends www.g3partners.asia Source: Platum Million USD # of Startups Invested
  28. 28. Forward Ventures (Coupang) E-Commerce • USD $1Bn in 2015 • Softbank Ventures 4:33 Creative Lab Gaming • USD $100M in 2014 • Line, Tencent Outliers in 2014 & 2015 www.g3partners.asia Source: Platum
  29. 29. Viva Republica (Toss) Fintech • USD $48M • Paypal, Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Partech Ventures www.g3partners.asia The Biggest Winners in 2017 Q1 Source: Platum, Startup Investment Report Bagel Code Gaming • USD $13M • IMM Investment, Atinum Investment, LB Investment, Smilegate Investment Ticket Monster E-COMMERCE • USD $115M • Simone Investment Managers, KKR
  30. 30. Woowa Bros FOOD DELIVERY • USD $50M • Hillhouse Capital consortium Lezhin Entertainment ONLINE PUBLISHING • USD $43M • IMM Private Equity Memebox COSMETICS, HEALTH & BEAUTY • USD $120M • Formation Group, Goodwater Capital, Altos Ventures www.g3partners.asia The Biggest Winners in 2016 Source: Platum
  31. 31. Socar CAR SHARING & RENTAL • USD $55M • SK, Bain Capital Zigbang REAL ESTATE • USD $50M • Stonebridge Capital, Capstone Partners, Goldman Sachs Consortium Yello Mobile MOBILE SERVICES • USD $48M • Formation 8 www.g3partners.asia The Biggest Winners in 2015 Source: Platum, Startup Investment Report
  32. 32. Startup to Unicorn www.g3partners.asia Source: Platum Kakao Messaging, O2O, Gaming, Fintech • IPO in 2014 • Valued at $5Bn Netmarble Mobile Gaming • Set to IPO in 2017 • Valued at $10Bn Forward Ventures E-Commerce • Valued at $10Bn Yello Mobile Mobile Services • $2.5Bn ~ $3.5Bn
  33. 33. Korea’s Top Accelerators > Sparklabs > KStartup > Lotte Accelerator > Samsung C-Lab > SK Planet > Shift. > Orange FAB > Future Play > The Ventures > Primer > Fast Track Asia www.g3partners.asia > Actner Lab > Neoply > Bon Angels > Mashup Angels > Dreamplus
  34. 34. > Google Campus > Maru180 > D Camp > WeWork > MyWorkSpace > The Bitcoin Center > Seoul GSC > Hive Arena > Fast Five > 10K > Seoul Global Center > CoWnDoG Seoul’s Best Co-working Spaces www.g3partners.asia
  35. 35. > Startup Grind > Drink Entrepreneurs > Wine On Wednesday > First Thursdays > Koreans in Mobile (KIM) > Seoul Tech Society > Entrepreneurs in Seoul Check these for up-to-date info: >> Google Campus, Maru180, D Camp, Startup Alliance & Hive Arena websites >> OnOffMix and Eventbrite >> Startup Digest newsletter for Seoul >> Facebook groups: > Marketing in Korea > Entrepreneurs in Seoul > Seoul Startups #1 > Seoul Startups #2 > South Korea Startup Club Monthly Meetups for Startup People www.g3partners.asia
  36. 36. www.g3partners.asia Large Scale Startup Events
  37. 37. Rank 2014 2015 2016 1st USA S.E.Asia China 2nd China USA S.E.Asia 3rd S.E.Asia China USA Desired Overseas Market www.g3partners.asia Source: Startup Alliance, 2016 Startup Trend Report
  38. 38. Author’s note www.g3partners.asia The last slide indicates that Korean founders’ most desired market for expansion is China. But I’m not aware of any Korean startups that are successful in China. Literally, not one and I’ve been working in the scene for over five years. Three years ago it was the USA. Similar story - I’m aware of a couple of Korean startups that are doing well - that means big revenues and decent profit margins. Of Korea’s recent stand out successes (Kakao, Coupang, Baedal Minjeok, etc) - none have found success beyond Korea. All this to say that while there’s some very positive signs of success, Korea still needs some big overseas success cases to prove that she’s ready to take on the big boys overseas and begin attracting the top global talent that can further speed up her claim to being one of Asia’s top startup hubs.
  39. 39. • $33B USD pledged for building “creative economy” (over 5 years) • $2B+ pledged for 2017, just for startups • Helped to legitimize entrepreneurship • Beginning to support foreign-owned startups • K-Startup Grand Challenge provides acceleration, government funding, and business support for foreign startups Government Support: Overview www.g3partners.asia
  40. 40. Govt. Agencies Supporting Startups
  41. 41. New Entrepreneur/ Early Stage Support • 12 programs • Funding from $17K to $85K • Ex) TIPS: Angel investment of $35M in select startups Global Expansion Support • 3 programs • Funding, local incubation and acceleration, global marketing expense paid • Ex) K-Global Smart Mobile Tech Startup Support • 9 programs • Funding, development support, international patent expense paid • Ex) K-Global Startup Female Entrepreneur Support • 2 programs • Small funding, startup camp • Ex) Women Venture Care Program Re-Startup Support • 3 programs • Funding from $25K to $250K • Ex) K-Global Re-Startup www.g3partners.asia Government Support in 2016 Source: Brunch.co.kr
  42. 42. Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning • USD $127M • Science/Tech focused • Focused on establishing infrastructure for basic science and new growth sectors Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism • USD $100M from 2015 to 2019 • Tourism focused • USD $17M to be invested in 2017 • Early stage • Operated by AJ Capital www.g3partners.asia New Government Funds for 2017 Source: Platum
  43. 43. >> USD $43M >> Media/content focused >> Early stage with proprietary tech for media >> Seeks to stimulate an ecosystem for individuals to create and share contents New Corporate Funds for 2017 www.g3partners.asia >> Pledged $420M investment in startups over the next 5 years >> Including $84M fund with Mirae Asset to invest in AI, IoT, VR, and autonomous driving >> Providing IR services for 300 startups >> Partnership with accelerators and VCs to match them with startups
  44. 44. Author’s note www.g3partners.asia The last few slides demonstrate an amazing level of government and private support, but it’s gone too far. I believe the government in particular MUST back off a bit and let the ecosystem begin managing and funding itself. There’s so many programs that many fail because there simply aren’t enough relevant startups. It’s also so easy to startup right now meaning that the talent pool is spread so thinly that VCs are really struggling to find good deals. There will be a correction and it’s likely to begin in January 2018.
  45. 45. > K-Startup Grand Challenge Launched in 2016 K-Startup Grand Challenge invites foreign-founded startups for three months all expenses paid acceleration in Seoul. in 2016 40 startups participated and 20 startups were awarded follow-on funding of up to USD $130K. Of the many government funded programs I’ve been involved with over the years I can honestly say that this is one of the best. It will return in 2017. FINALLY... Support For Foreigners www.g3partners.asia > Seoul Global Center With several facilities around Seoul, this organisation provides legal,financial and other useful advice for foreign business people in Seoul, as well as office space. Worth checking out. > Seoul Global Startup Center Seoul GSC is a brand new facility in the heart of Seoul, specifically set up for foreign startups. It offers free coworking and office space, networking events, courses and seminars and of course free coffee, pizza and the occasional beer. If you’re keen on exploring Seoul as a base in Asia, this is a good place to check out.
  46. 46. Author’s note www.g3partners.asia Support for foreigners and foreign entrepreneurs in Korea is an extremely good sign. The Korean startup ecosystem has been too homogeneous until now (just 17% of founders are non-Korean, compared to 53% in London). I’ve advocated for a long time that every Korean startup that is serious about going global needs to hire a foreigner. It’s also important for the ecosystem as a whole to have more foreign-founded companies as they bring knowledge of other markets and a more cosmopolitan view of the world. Thanks to a huge increase in the number of foreign students in Seoul there’s also a growing talent pool of foreigners that local startups can hire from.
  47. 47. Author’s note www.g3partners.asia You’re probably thinking, “I’m a foreign entrepreneur, how easy is it to set up shop in Korea?” Quick answer: Not very, and you’ll need to be committed. That means registering a patent locally, attending a 3-week government course (the OASIS program), committing USD $100K to the cause… or marrying a local. It’s great to see programs opening up for overseas startups and they may also be your best bet to test the market with minimal outlay and risk. Contact me for more on this if you’re interested (nathan@g3partners.asia)
  48. 48. >> The Bad: “There are just too many startups; investors are reeling back, and some are even starting startups to put them on their resumes.” “Stagnant economy and lackluster policy performance.” >> The Good: “Korea hasn’t fully told its story yet.” - Eric Kim, Goodwater Capital “The public’s perception of startups is improving, and there are ever more support for startups.” “The quality of startup workforce is improving.” www.g3partners.asia Korean Founder Sentiment Will Next Year Be Better for Startups? Source: Startup Alliance, 2016 Startup Trend Report
  49. 49. Signs of Success www.g3partners.asia
  50. 50. Yello Mobile Mobile Services • $2.5 ~ 3.5 Bn Biggest Startups by Valuation www.g3partners.asia Forward Ventures E-Commerce • $4.35 Bn TicketMonster Mobile Services • $1.7 ~ 2.6 Bn
  51. 51. 4:33 Creative Lab Gaming • $435MM Biggest Startups by Valuation www.g3partners.asia WeMakePrice E-Commerce • $870MM ~ 1.75Bn Podotree Mobile Services • $335MM - $355MM
  52. 52. Woowa Bros Food Delivery • $262~350MM Biggest Startups by Valuation www.g3partners.asia Yanolja Hospitality • $350~435MM SOCAR Car Sharing • $174~262MM
  53. 53. “Get a nice job at Samsung, son” - Ajummas Until recently it was socially frowned upon to join a startup or be an entrepreneur, especially for the well educated. Thanks in part to recent successes demonstrating the viability of tech entrepreneurship as a career this stigma is changing fast. www.g3partners.asia The “Ajumma Factor”
  54. 54. > Nathan Millard, CEO @ G3 Partners > Michael Hong, CEO @ RedHering > James Jung, CEO @ beSUCCESS > Jungwook Lim, CEO @ Startup Alliance > Jeffrey Lim, GM @ Google Campus > Hee-eun Park, @ Altos Ventures People to Look Out for / Connect with in Seoul Startup Ecosystem www.g3partners.asia Am I missing someone? Email me (nathan@g3partners.asia)
  55. 55. People to Look Out for / Connect with in Seoul Startup Ecosystem www.g3partners.asia Am I missing someone? Email me (nathan@g3partners.asia) > Seokwon Yang, Manager @ D Camp > Mike Kim, Manager @ Google Korea > YJ Min, CEO @ Kono Labs > Tim Chae, Partner @ 500 Startups Korea > Minhee Cho, CEO @ RocketPunch > Louis Ryu, CEO @ Shift.
  56. 56. People to Look Out for / Connect with in Seoul Startup Ecosystem www.g3partners.asia Am I missing someone? Email me (nathan@g3partners.asia) > Hyekyung Hwang, CEO @ Hive Arena > Kihong Bae, Partner @ Strong Ventures > Richard Min, CEO @ Seoul Space > Yer-Hyun Baek, CEO @ Korea Investment Partners > Douglas Guen, CEO @ Primer > Junghee Ryu, CEO @ FuturePlay
  57. 57. > Elaine Ramirez, Freelance tech writer > Phil Yoon, CEO @ Big Basin Capital > Eugene Kim, CEO @ Sparklabs > Hyemin Lee, CEO @ Finda > Olivier Mouroux, CEO @ Asiance > Joon Oh, CEO @ MangoPlate People to Look Out for / Connect with in Seoul Startup Ecosystem www.g3partners.asia Am I missing someone? Email me (nathan@g3partners.asia)
  58. 58. a Author’s note www.g3partners.asia The wonderful people on the previous slide have been selected as ‘go to people’ in the ecosystem because they’ve been in it for years, speak English, work at companies I’d classify as ‘ecosystem builders’. They are people whom I know as knowledgeable and whom I’ve found to be open and willing to give advice and connections. Many don’t know they’re on the list, but if you mention that you saw their name in this presentation it should help break the ice.
  59. 59. Hot Trends that Foreign Brands / Startups Can Leverage www.g3partners.asia
  60. 60. Fintech is one of the most promising areas of innovation and growth in Korea, which has suffered from obsolete banking system. Government is earmarking $2.7 Bn just for Fintech industry and easing regulation. www.g3partners.asia Fintech
  61. 61. ● $10 Bn market ● 5 of Top 10 mobile games are foreign ● Foreign games grew by 2X per year for the last 3 years ● Mobile games constitute ⅓ of total gaming market Gaming www.g3partners.asia
  62. 62. ● K-Fashion is a $46 Bn market ● K-Beauty is $8 Bn market ● Industry is ripe for disruption, as local brands still rely on traditional e-commerce shops ● Opportunities for tech partnerships, e-commerce, exports Fashion, Fashion Tech & Cosmetics www.g3partners.asia
  63. 63. ● Trendsetter in Asia (music, film, TV) ● K-Pop mania in Asia (and west?) ● Multi-Channel Networks that promote and manage social influencers and their content are thriving ● Foreign content platforms entering market Pop Content & Visual Media www.g3partners.asia
  64. 64. ● Hyundai pursuing autonomous vehicle innovation ● Government support ● Opportunities in automotive tech partnerships www.g3partners.asia Automotive
  65. 65. ● Korea is one of Asia’s largest E-commerce markets ● Coupang recently raised $1Bn ● Regulations easing ● Opportunities for import, export, e-commerce platforms and support services (payments, analytics, Ads, etc) www.g3partners.asia Cross-border Commerce & E-commerce
  66. 66. ● Songdo ‘completed’ in 2015 ● Samsung & LG pursuing smart home opportunities (and investing globally) ● Government support ● Koreans love tech www.g3partners.asia IoE, Smart Home, Smart City
  67. 67. ● Koreans are very tech savvy ● Koreans work hard, so helping them save time is an opportunity ● Overseas business services doing well www.g3partners.asia Biz-tech Services & Platforms
  68. 68. ● Air quality in Korea is worsening, awareness of environment increasing ● Heavy reliance of coal power and fine dust from China are the main culprits ● Sales of air purifies up 300% in 3 years www.g3partners.asia Clean Skies
  69. 69. www.g3partners.asia Services for Singles & Seniors ● Demographic shift in Korea away from multi-generational households ● Singles have given up on traditions like marriage, children, home ownership ● 1-person restaurants, delivery, affordable luxury, home healthcare
  70. 70. ● Of course barriers to entry exist ● Government desire doesn’t always mean results ● Samsung (and other conglomerates) are tough to get into and very conservative Is There REALLY Opportunity? www.g3partners.asia
  71. 71. ● Early movers have an advantage ● Korea’s a small market, but Koreans are big spenders ● It’s easier doing business in Korea than Japan or China ● The Korean market is open for business www.g3partners.asia BUT...
  72. 72. Got questions or suggestions? execs@g3partners.asia www.g3partners.asiaConnect with Us: Facebook MARKETING • PR • GROWTH for Startups in Asia and Beyond LinkedIn InstagramTwitter

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