South Korea

Seoul

Late-Globalization Phase

Seoul has been the center of talented young workforce with creativity and competence in South Korea. We [Seoul Metropolitan Government] will create a fast track for them to realize their dreams here, with public investment, spaces, and programs.

Park Won-soon
Mayor of Seoul

Sub-sector Strengths

Gaming

With approximately $5.6 billion in revenues, South Korea’s gaming industry is the 4th largest in the world. The South Korean gaming market has 28.9 million players with around 39% watching gaming content online. In 2018, Bluehole, a fantasy game developer for PC and mobile devices, raised $500 million from Tencent Holding and became a unicorn. In 2017, Netmarble, South Korea’s largest mobile game developer, raised $2.3 billion in the country’s second-largest IPO.

Adtech

South Korea’s advertising market is the 7th largest in the world with a total domestic advertising market at $12.5 billion in 2018. South Korea is home to several advertising giants including Cheil Worldwide, which was the 19th largest advertising agency in the world by revenues in 2018. In January 2019, Madup, a creative performance marketing agency, raised $12 million in Series B funding. In April 2018, Dable, a B2B omnichannel personalization platform, raised a $5.6 million Series B round.

Why you should invest in Seoul

SOFTWARE STARTUP OUTPUT
600-1.0k
GLOBAL AVG.
1,010
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$5.0 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$5 bn
Top 10 Global Ecosystem
Gaming
Top 20 Global Ecosystem
Talent
4
Exit Growth
INDEX
6
Output Growth
INDEX
1
Funding Growth
INDEX

Reasons to move your startup to Seoul

EARLY-STAGE FUNDING PER STARTUP
$107 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$284 k
TOTAL EARLY-STAGE FUNDING
$85 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$837 m
SOFTWARE ENGINEER SALARY
$41 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$58.3 k

Creative Economy Policy

South Korea has invested around $2 billion annually into the country’s startup ecosystem since 2013. Under the policy, K-Startup Grand Challenge is held where foreign startups collaborate with local VCs and companies.

R&D

South Korea is the fifth highest investor in R&D with around $70 billion. South Korea’s R&D spending to GDP ratio is highest in the world at 4.55 percent.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Partners & Members

MEMBER
Seoul Metropolitan Government

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