SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Large companies and venture capitalists are aggressively investing in and exploring initial-stage startups that have relatively high risk of failure, as part of efforts to acquire stakes in such startups through ‘seed investment’ before their market value is pushed up.
Local venture capital firm TBT Partners has invested about 30 billion won (US$25.1 million) in a total of 20 startups, including two AI-specialized startups that were founded less than a year ago.
Four major venture capitalists jointly launched an audition program in which they set a task and give management advice for 12 startups participating in the audition.
Large companies are also making aggressive investments in tech startups.
Samsung Electronics Co. is placing emphasis on its in-house venture cultivation program C-Lab, while LG Electronics Inc. held a home electronics startup contest in September together with the Seoul Creative Economy Innovation Center.
Market analysts said that from a long-term perspective as a way to secure promising technology or business items, it’s more advantageous for large companies to invest, support and form cooperative relations with a multitude of initial-stage startups rather than attempting to take over the full control of a single startup.
The value of the nation’s venture investment totaled 5.26 trillion won in the first nine months of this year, up more than 80 percent from a year ago, according to the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)