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  • LAC-Korea creates $82M fund for boosting Korean startups


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    By Hyunjin Choi

     

    LAC-Korea Startup Fund(Latin America and the Caribbean-Korea Startup Fund) with USD 82 million will be established for investing in Korean and Latin American startups.

     

    Born2Global Centre(Director Jongkap Kim) announced on August 14th that it will form a fund of USD 82 million (KRW 100 billion) by jointly investing with Fund of Funds and IDB Lab, which is an innovation lab of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Through this fund formation, Born2Global Centre(Born2Global) will serve as a bridge for Korean startups to enter the Latin American markets. 

     

    In particular, the fund is going to focus on startup investments from early stage to Series B. Considering the growth potential of the Latin American markets, the main investment areas are FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech, Wellness, Biotech, CreativeTech, AgTech, Cleantech, Marketplace, E-commerce, LogisticsTech, and Mobility. Investment targets include Korea-China joint ventures, Korean and LAC startups operating in, or planning to expand into LatAm and Korean markets.

     

    According to IDB Lab, the amount of investments in Latin America has been consistently increasing. In 2018, it marked USD 2 billion (KRW 2.4 trillion), doubling from USD 1.1 billion ( KRW 1.3 trillion) in the previous year. Investment execution count in LAC also increased by 86 percent (249 cases in 2017 to 463 cases in 2018). With this brisk pace of investments, the number of unicorns in LAC has reached 16 companies including Stone, Rappi, and Arco. 

     


    Startup investment status in Latin America

     

    SoftBank, the Japanese multinational conglomerate, has actively jumped in LAC startup investment in March by creating an LAC fund worth USD 5 billion (KRW 5.6 trillion)

     

    “The coveted countries driving the current LAC startup investment ecosystem are Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Argentina, and Peru. They are concentrating on local startups for finance, marketplace, logistics, distribution, shipping, agriculture, and education. Despite their effort to create an active startup ecosystem, they still lack in startups. The dearth of tech-based startups will give Korean startups opportunities to advance and mature in LAC regions through this LAC-Korea Startup Fund,” said Mr. Jongkap Kim, the chief executive director of the Born2Global Centre.

     

    “This fund is expected to play an important role as a driving force to successfully enter the LAC region by multidisciplinary scaleups as well as giving a financial boost to Korean startups,” added Mr. Kim.

     

    Born2Global Centre is planning to help Korean startups advance into LAC markets in addition to LAC startups to expand operations in Korean markets. It is going to sustain cooperative relations with IDB Lab and venture capitalists by sharing information and consultancy.

     

    IDB is seeking a devoted General Partner(GP) for this LAC-Korea Startup Fund from both Korea and LAC regions. The selected GP will make all financial, legal, and operational decisions for the Fund and the successful candidate should be able to operate a global fund partnership between LAC and Korea. Proven experience with startup investing in LAC region and/or Korea will be preferred. Firms are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest by September 23rd, 2019. Any inquiries can be accepted by susanaro@iadb.org, gyoungc@iadb.org, jeehyony@iadb.org. The selection will be finalized by the end of the year.

     

    For more information click here

     


     

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