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S.Korean startups' combined valuation tops $150 billion

By Mar 10, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

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(Source: Getty Images Bank)
(Source: Getty Images Bank)

South Korean startups' combined valuation has topped 170 trillion won ($150 billion), accounting for nearly half of the country's junior bourse Kosdaq market capitalization, according to a report issued by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups on Mar. 9.

Over the last six years, the number of domestic startups with an enterprise value of over 100 billion won has increased by more than sixfold -- from 51 companies in 2015 to 320 companies in 2020.

Last year, 85 startups were newly added to the list of firms with an enterprise value of over 100 billion won. Among them, 60 firms received follow-on investment while 25 companies reached the 100 billion won valuation from their initial fundraising.

Graphics by Jerry Lee
Graphics by Jerry Lee

The average enterprise value of startups that raised funding last year stood at 42.2 billion won, up by 16.9% from the previous year. Some 4,500 small- and medium-sized firms that received funding over the past six years saw their combined valuation reach around 173 trillion won, exceeding the 86.3 trillion won market cap of SK Hynix Inc., the second-largest firm on the main bourse Kospi.

From the total pool of surveyed startups, around 7.1% or 320 firms had an enterprise value of over 100 billion won. Around 1,969 firms reported valuations between 10 billion won and 100 billion won, with 2,232 firms reporting less than 10 billion won.

In terms of sectors, the ICT service led with 1,381 firms, followed by retail and service (781 firms), and bio and medical (615 firms).

Write to Joo-wan Kim at

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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