All Resources Startup News in Korea (Korean Startup News)

KOSFO 2023: Sales of 2,237 Members Hit KRW 20T, Investments KRW 29T

2024-02-22 3 min read


KOSFO 2023: Sales of 2,237 Members Hit KRW 20T, Investments KRW 29T

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Korea Startup Forum (KOSFO) unveiled the “2023 Korea Startup White Paper” on the 22nd, summarizing its key activities and accomplishments for the year.

According to the white paper, by the end of 2023, KOSFO boasted a total of 2,237 member companies. Of these, the annual sales of startup members reached KRW 20.1591 trillion (1,110 companies), marking an approximate 1.3% increase from KRW 19.8945 trillion (989 companies) in the previous year. The cumulative investment raised was reported at KRW 29.4431 trillion (620 companies), a slight rise of about 0.5% from KRW 29.3072 trillion (575 companies) the year prior. Employment figures demonstrated the most significant growth among the three metrics, with a 4% increase to 55,516 employees (1,125 companies) from 48,564 (994 companies) the previous year.

In terms of investment stages, out of 763 companies, early-stage firms receiving seed to pre-Series A funding numbered 374, accounting for 49%, which is a 4.5% increase from the previous year. This suggests that despite the tight investment market last year, investment in early-stage startups remained vigorous. Series A investments were made in 22.9% (175 companies), Series B in 14.6% (111 companies), and Series C in 13.5% (103 companies), with each category experiencing decreases of 1.7%, 1%, and 1.8%, respectively, compared to 2022.

The report also detailed the geographic and industrial distribution of the 2,237 member companies. Companies located in Seoul constituted about 68% (1,519 companies) of the total membership, with the metropolitan area accounting for 80% (1,800 companies), indicating a continued concentration trend within the startup ecosystem. Member companies in Busan and Gyeongnam, primary areas of activity for the Southeastern Council, saw increases of 1.2 times and 3.9 times, respectively, from the previous year, underscoring the council’s significant contributions to regional startup community activation. The industries most represented were content (232 companies), commerce (206 companies), advertising/marketing (198 companies), and telecom/security/data/infrastructure (179 companies).

The past year’s seven major issues included: ▲addressing direct conflicts and improving policies/regulations in areas such as legaltech and remote healthcare, ▲securing BUSAN Slush’D for the first time in Korea and hosting the global startup festival COMEUP 2023 to bolster global capabilities, ▲supporting the overcoming of the investment winter through initiatives like the Entrepreneurs Club, ▲mental health counseling for entrepreneurs, and sports events, ▲the inauguration of the third chairman of the Southeastern Council and the admission of the 100th official member, ▲publishing “Asking 35 Startup Leaders about Entrepreneurial Spirit,” and ▲celebrating the 7th anniversary.

Jaewook Park, chairman of KOSFO, stated, “2023 was a year when our member companies, amidst numerous challenges in the startup ecosystem, focused on survival through solidarity. KOSFO expanded programs to support member companies at various stages of growth, fostering high levels of participation and exchange. We will continue to enhance our role as a central hub for the startup community, aiming to promote the healthy development and sustainable growth of the startup ecosystem.”

Furthermore, KOSFO has set its goals for the year as “Focusing on the essence, fostering a virtuous cycle in the startup ecosystem community,” planning to focus on “activating the KOSFO community and membership, strengthening startup policy support, and enhancing the foundation for global growth.” The upcoming regular general meeting on the 27th will include the 2023 business settlement report, the approval of the 2024 business plan and budget, and the election of Hansang Woo as the fourth chairman.

[Startup News in Korea]

스타트업 투자의 숨은 말 '다코스'
Leave a comment

댓글 남기기