The Korea Herald


Venture investment hits record high in 2020

By Park Ga-young

Published : Jan. 27, 2021 - 17:30

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South Korea’s venture investment set records in 2020 both in the number of deals and their value, despite the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced Wednesday.

The country’s investment in startups reached 4.30 trillion won ($3.89 billion) in 2020, adding 26.8 billion won, or 0.6 percent, from the previous year.

The number of investment deals also hit a record high of 4,231 while the number of invested companies logged an all-time high of 2,130. Among the 2,130 companies that secured funds last year, a record 75 companies received more than 10 billion won. 

The Ministry of SMEs and Startup (Unit: 100 million won) The Ministry of SMEs and Startup (Unit: 100 million won)

“While the COVID-19 pandemic renewed investors’ interest in bio and health as well as the ICT sector, bullish stock markets also raised expectations for an investment exit,” Vice Minister of SMEs and Startups Kang Sung-cheon said Wednesday. “The government’s efforts to foster an innovative ecosystem for startups and ventures also had a positive impact.” The venture investment boom in 2020 was led by bio, health, ICT, materials, parts and equipment. The bio and medical industries accounted for the largest proportion of the total, 27.8 percent, and saw the biggest increase from the previous year of 93.7 billion won to reach 1.19 trillion won.

Amid the lifestyle changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought about, companies dealing with contactless services attracted 1.99 trillion won worth of investments in 2020, up 5.1 percent from 2019.

Meanwhile, venture funds grew 54.8 percent, or 2.32 trillion won, from 2019 to an unprecedented 6.56 trillion won in 2020, data from the ministry showed.

“Despite COVID-19, venture funds, along with venture investments, saw the best-ever performance last year. This year, startups and venture companies will continue to play a key role in the recovery of our economy,” Kang said. (