Interest in Korean Startups
Global investment banks and private equity funds are increasing their investment in innovative South Korean startups.
For example, L Capital Asia, which is an investment company of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Group, is considering investing 200 billion won (US$180 million) in Snoopby, which has fashion eyewear brand Gentle Monster. L Capital Asia has invested 82 billion won (US$74 million) in YG Entertainment and 57.3 billion won (US$52 million) in Clio since 2014, too.
Goldman Sachs, in the meantime, has made an investment in Carver Korea, an eye cream manufacturer, with Bain Capital and invested 40 billion won in Woowa Bros, which provides a food delivery app. It has invested 38 billion won in real estate app Jikbang as well. These companies Goldman Sachs has invested in are characterized by combining IT and ideas with existing industries. L Capital Asia’s preference lies in top-quality products catering to consumers all around the world such as Snoopby sunglasses, which are becoming increasingly popular with Hollywood stars.
These days, such global investors are much interested in the Korean fashion, entertainment, healthcare and duty-free shop industries in particular. “Korea is one of the countries that have the largest cultural influence in the world,” said an industry expert, adding, “Lifestyle, consumption and entertainment are likely to be very attractive investment destinations.”