SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — The total amount of investment in startups reached a record high last year amid hopes of lucrative returns and policy backup, government data showed Thursday.
A total of 3.43 trillion won (US$3.04 billion) was invested in startups last year, up 43.9 percent from the previous record high of 2.38 trillion won in 2017, according to the data from the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups.
The stellar figure was due to the 4.6 trillion won-fund set up in 2017 for startups that have growth potential, the ministry said.
It said 1.3 trillion won, a 71.7 percent increase over the previous year, went to companies whose businesses range from biopharmaceutical and medical services to ICT.
And 1.2 trillion won was poured into companies between three and seven years old.
Some 4.69 trillion won was raised last year to invest in startups, slightly higher than the previous year’s 4.6 trillion won.
Meanwhile, 2.68 trillion won was retrieved from venture investment in 2018 — a 49.1 percent rise from the previous year.
The latest surge in venture investment is in line with the government’s push to develop new growth engines and support smaller firms. The Moon Jae-in administration launched the SMEs ministry in 2017 and has stressed the need for innovation-led growth.
The ministry said it plans to allocate 1 trillion won in venture funding this year.