The Korea Herald


Korean proptech Dongnae raises $8.2m in seed rounds

By Park Ga-young

Published : May 25, 2021 - 17:33

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(Dongnae) (Dongnae)

Dongnae, a property tech company based in South Korea, said on Tuesday that it has raised an additional $4.1 million in an extended seed series funding from global investors.

Dongnae’s final seed round stood at $8.2 million including $4.1 million in the latest fundraising and another $4.1 million raised five months ago, the company said. The company’s seed funding size compares with local venture investments in all rounds that stood at an average of 2 billion won ($1.7 million) per company in 2020, according to data from the Korea Venture Capital Association.

The company’s latest fundraising is unique in its investor composition with an extremely high proportion of overseas investors, many of which were investing for the first time in South Korea, and inclusion of industry veterans like Pete Flint and MegaProp.

The company said all of its institutional investors -- NFX, Flybridge, MetaProp, Goodwater Capital, and Maple VC -- are from overseas, while about 10 percent of the total investment is from Korean angel investors.

“I’m especially thrilled to work with NFX and to have Pete Flint join the Dongnae board. His experience, knowledge and network will be invaluable to our company and team as we‘re building this new platform here in Korea,” said Matthew Shampine, CEO and co-founder of Dongnae.

Pete Flint co-founded Trulia, a US real estate listing firm acquired by Nasdaq-listed property marketplace Zilliow in 2015. MegaProp is a New York-based venture capital firm with a focus on the real estate technology industry.

“We’re excited to partner with the team at Dongnae on their ambitious mission,” said Flint, who now serves General Partner at NFX, a venture capital which led the extended seed round for Dongnae.

“The executive team at Dongnae is uniquely qualified considering their global backgrounds and deep local real estate expertise, and I believe the timing is perfect for Dongnae and the market need they are addressing in Korea.”

As of the last funding announcement in December of 2020, Dongnae has increased its closed deal volume by over 65 percent and revenue by 150 percent, the company said.

The company is expected to spur the growth even faster as it introduced iOS application in April and Android application this week. It will compete in earnest with Internet giant Naver’s property listings and proptech startups like Zigbang and Dabang.

While Zigbang and Dabang mainly focus on linking customers with real estate agencies, Dongnae helps home shoppers in all aspects of buying a house and supports them through the process.

Shampine, former WeWork executive, said the company will use the new proceedings to accelerate the growth of their 75-member brokerage network and scale development of its technology platform.

By Park Ga-young (