SEJONG, Dec. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea plans to set up a fund of 300 billion won (US$252 million) to help fintech startups become unicorns with a valuation of more than US$1 billion, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Wednesday.
Hong made the remarks at a meeting with economy-related ministers in Seoul to discuss how to foster innovative industries that could become new growth engines for the South Korean economy.
Hong told the meeting the government will take measures to help fintech startups reach unicorn status.
Viva Republica, the operator of easy mobile remittance service Toss, is the only fintech company among the six South Korean unicorns.
Since last year, fintech firms have been able to develop services without regulatory hurdles.
Under a so-called regulatory sandbox, fintech firms using new technologies, such as blockchain and big data, are exempted from strict regulation.
By next March, the government will designate 100 financial products to be tested under the regulatory sandbox, Hong said.
The government will also promote the local food industry on the back of the Korean Wave of pop culture, Hong said.