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This article from the micro-channel public number “VentureSquare” (ID: venturesquare), Author: Tsu right, 36 krypton release authorized.2019 is a year of unicorn outbreaks for South Korea.Throughout 2019, South Korea has added five new companies with valuations in excess of $ 1 billion.As of December 10, 2019, the total number of Korean unicorns reached 11.According to CB Insight data, as of the end of 2019, except for China and the United States, the number of Korean unicorns is second only to the United Kingdom (22), India (19), and Germany (12), ranking sixth in the world.VentureSquare will organize the inventory of Korean unicorn companies and companies that are expected to enter the unicorn sequence in three phases.Coupang Established: 2010 Listed: 2014 Enterprise valuation: $ 9 billion Coupang is hailed as the “Korean Amazon” and is the first e-commerce company in Korea to build its own logistics.According to the South Korean institution WISEAPP ’s market share report on shopping apps released in September 2019, Coupang has established the position of mobile e-commerce leader with 11.32 million monthly active users and is almost twice as much as the second platform.Picture source: WISEAPP The most used shopping app by Koreans | From left to right: Coupang, 11st, Weimeipu, Gmarket, Tmon, Daangn Market founder Bom Kim immigrated to the United States at the age of 7.After only six months of enrolling at Harvard Business School, he decided to leave the campus and returned to Korea to start the Coupang business in 2010.It is interesting that there were two major events in the e-commerce industry during that period.The first was the acquisition of Gmarket and Auction, the two largest e-commerce companies in Korea at the time by Ebay in 2009.The two platforms that already occupied half of South Korea’s e-commerce market at the time were gaining momentum after foreign capital injection.The second was the US Groupon went to Korea in October 2010 and competed fiercely with Coupon.Coupang was flanked by two sides.In the market already occupied by the giants, the social e-commerce model of group buying makes it significantly different from traditional e-commerce.Coupang fully grasped the market and gained rapid growth with its detailed grasp of service and experience.Coupang officially started self-operated services in 2012. The original position of social e-commerce has rapidly changed, and based on self-built logistics, it began to provide users with Rocket delivery services the next day.It was this action that established Coupang’s barriers and word of mouth and made it step by step to the top of Korean e-commerce.On May 29, 2014, Coupang announced that it had received a $ 100 million investment led by Sequoia Capital, and has since entered the unicorn threshold.In December of the same year, Coupang reported that the Good News received a 300 million USD investment led by Blackstone Group, with a valuation of 2 billion USD.By November 2018, the SoftBank Vision Fund had once again invested USD 2 billion in Coupang, achieving a valuation of USD 9 billion in Coupang.At the same time of rapid development, Coupang also faces similar embarrassment as its counterparts in other countries.In the case of unprofitable high valuations, the amount that was once called “planned loss” has also increased from 547 billion won (about 3.3 billion yuan) in 2015 to 109.7 trillion won (about 6.7 billion yuan) in 2019.It is rumored that Coupang’s funds may only support the end of 2020, so the industry judges that the possibility of Coupang going public in 2020 is also very high.In fact, Coupang may not just expect to solve the problem by listing or financing, and the business is still growing rapidly.In June 2019, Coupang released data for the first half of the year. Sales of 7.8 trillion won (approximately 46 billion yuan) increased by 60% compared to 4.8 trillion (approximately 28.3 billion yuan) in the first half of 2018.In addition, the transaction growth rate of small and medium-sized merchants has reached 85%, which is higher than 65% in the same period of 18 years.At the same time, Coupang is also actively exploring its own ecology.From August 2019, Coupon started the take-out business and quickly gained extraordinary market response.According to the big data analysis of the Korean Enterprise Evaluation Institute in January 2020, Coupang currently ranks first in the Korean e-commerce brand.Image source: OpenMarket January 2020 Big Data Analysis, leftmost is CouponYellow Mobile Founded: 2012 Listed time: 2014 Enterprise valuation: 4 billion USD Yellow Mobile has its own unique model, called “corporate consortium”.In their position, Yellow Mobile is a company that leads innovation as a “Mobile Lifestyle PlatformProvider”.In 2012, after starting a business from a marketing company, he received an investment of 10 billion won (about 60 million yuan) and changed his name to Yellow Mobile.The US $ 105 million from the US-based venture capital Formation 8 * in 2014 pushed it to the position of a unicorn.* (Formation 8 is a venture capital agency founded by Sun Gubenxiong, the head of the Korean LS Group in the United States and partners.) Yellow Mobile is a company with a very unique development model and has been expanding through acquisitions since its establishment.In 2018, the number of subsidiary companies reached 135, and there were even subsidiaries and subsidiaries in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the United States and other places.Yellow Mobile is also involved in many fields, including O2O, social, travel, digital marketing, health care, e-commerce, content, blockchain, financial technology, artificial intelligence, and so on.The more popular platforms in the Yellow Mobile consortium are Coocha (mobile shopping platform), Pikicast (SNS), Makeus (Dingo series applications, media entertainment, content e-commerce), Goodoc (medical information service), Coinone (virtual currency exchange)and many more.Excessive merger expansion has also caused many problems for Yellow Mobile.Successive years of losses have also increased with the increase in turnover, and internal management problems have gradually surfaced.Since 2016, Macquarie Holdings has received 11.5 billion won (about 67 million yuan) in investment, and there is no news of financing.Instead, several financial litigation disputes broke out in 2019.Now Yellow Mobile has sold a lot of companies for various reasons, and also readjusted its business to five business groups: O2O, media, e-commerce, advertising marketing, and travel.However, there are still more and more companies in the consortium that continue to become independent.For example, Yellow Story, which focuses on Internet celebrity marketing, as the industry’s first company has also been the backbone of the union.It was separated from the consortium in August 2019 and changed its name to REVU Corporation.After independent operation, REVU has renewed its vitality, opening up five Asian regions including Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines at one go as new battlefields.L & P Cosmetics Established: 2009 Listed: 2017 Corporate valuation: $ 1.78 billion L & P Cosmetics is a cosmetics brand company.MAKEHEAL and MEDIHEAL masks are the products of this company.Chairman Quan Wuyi was born in August 1959, a pure 50 generation.When the company was founded in 2009, it only had 4 employees.Perhaps due to the founder’s calmness, the relatively traditional L & P Cosmetics did not mention too much of its own journey in the development process.Even becoming a unicorn was not known until it was included in CB Insight’s list of unicorns.However, L & P Cosmetics, which had considered IPO, still found a trace.As early as May 2014, Legend Capital, a subsidiary of China’s Lenovo Group, invested about 30 billion won (about 18 million yuan) in L & P Cosmetics.In 2015 and 2016, China’s Langzi Group invested approximately US $ 51 million and 30 billion won (approximately 190 million yuan), and acquired 9.81% and 2.5% of L & P Cosmetics.In April 2017, the company received 29.1 billion won (about 180 million yuan) in investment from the CDIB private equity fund in Taiwan, China, and was included in CB Insight as a unicorn company.In October of 18, another USD 36.5 million investment from Credit Suisse in Switzerland was obtained.Looks like a traditional cosmetics company, but has received multiple rounds of international investment in the Red Sea, becoming the third unicorn company in South Korea.Perhaps the low-key L & P Cosmetics that has been waiting for the listing will also achieve their wishes.KRAFTON & BLUEHOLE Established: 2007 Listed: 2018 Enterprise valuation: $ 5 billion KRAFTON is the BLUEHOLE company that has developed the “Jesus Survival” game. The blue hole was officially renamed on November 30, 2018KRAFTON.The company that made 16 failed games is also widely known for its survival in the Jedi.The story about the “Jesus Survival” game does not need to be repeated by the author, but there may be many friends who do not understand the founder of this company and the financing process.KRAFTON founder and chairman Zhang Binggui is also a veteran and well-known investor in the Korean game industry.Zhang Binggui was born in 1973 and graduated from KAIST, a top scientific research institution in South Korea. He is also a successful serial entrepreneur.In 1996, Zhang Binggui founded the well-known Korean game company Neowiz as a co-founder and successfully promoted the company’s IPO in 2000.During his time at Neowiz, in addition to the gaming business, Zhang Binggui also supported many innovative projects within the company.This also laid the foundation for his subsequent continuous entrepreneurship.In 2005, Zhang Binggui left Neowiz, under the name of “chuxue”, started the road of second venture and entered the search field.In the case that the search industry has been controlled by several giants for many years, “Chuxue” is still well-recognized, and it took only over a year to be acquired by South Korea’s largest search engine portal Naver and successfully exited.The third venture was Bluehole Studios, which was established in March 2007.In the same year, it was also the fourth venture. Zhang Binggui also co-founded Bon Angels, a well-known early-stage investment institution in South Korea.Zhang Binggui, with strong industry and capital appeal, gave Blue Hole a very good start.Starting more than a year, Blue Hole, which has not yet launched its first game, won the first round of investment of about 8.5 billion won (about 50 million yuan) from Altos Ventures * in the United States in December 2008.* Altos Ventures is a Korean investment company based in Silicon Valley. The second round of financing in January 2010 was all from Korea. Six companies including IMM Investments, K-Net Venture Capital, and Stonebridge Ventures invested a total of 18 billion won (approximately 106 million).RMB), at this time Tera’s first game Tera is still under development.The third round of financing in June 2014 was also from South Korea-based IMM Investments and Primer for a total of 13.5 billion won (about 80 million yuan).Since then, due to the sluggish performance, the financing of Blue Hole began to be difficult.It wasn’t until three years later that in 2017, the “Jedi Survival” in-game beta began to change.In January 2017, game developer Neptune received a 10 billion won (approximately 60 million yuan) investment from in-depth partner KakaoGames, and then changed hands to invest 5 billion won in Blue Hole.(KakaoGames, the Korean publisher of Jedi Survival) is the stage for Tencent after the fourth round. Through multiple purchases, as of November 14, 2019.Tencent has held a total of 1062997 KRAFTON shares, accounting for 13.3%.It is the second largest shareholder just below Zhang Binggui (17.63%).Image source: KRAFTON 2019 Q3 report, IMAGE FRAME INVETMENT is the main investment entity of Tencent. Today, under the blessing of capital and capital, KRAFTON has quickly started grouping through investment and mergers and acquisitions.Currently including wholly-owned Red Sahara, KRAFTON already has six 100% -owned subsidiaries.KakaoGames and Neptune, who helped the Blue Hole in 2017, also received tens of billions of KRW from KRAFTON in 2018 and 2019.Viva Republica & Toss was founded: 2013 Listed time: 2018 Corporate valuation: 2.2 billion U.S. dollars Many people say that Toss, a well-known mobile financial application in South Korea, is Alipay in South Korea, and Viva Republica is the operator of Toss.Electronic payment in South Korea is in a state of asynchronous development with other countries.Although Korea Financial’s Internet infrastructure is very solid.It has brought different opportunities to the development of financial payment.The difference between Toss and Alipay is actually very large.Unlike China ’s mobile payment habits, bank transfers in South Korea are still one of the most mainstream payment methods, and Toss started out based on this feature.Korean students or white-collar workers often have AA meals together, and often one person transfers money to another after checkout.In 2015, Li Shengjian, a former dentist who failed 8 times in his startup, came out after developing Toss after spending a year observing users.There is only one core function, which is “mobile phone number transfer”.Toss users only need to select the contact and amount in the address book in the app when completing the transfer to complete their own process.The original mobile bank transfer method is very complicated.After opening the Bank App, you need to log in through the “Accepted Certificate + Password” method. After filling in the payee account name information, you need to perform the authentication through the “Accepted Certificate + Password + Security Card” method to complete the calculation.If the payee does not use Toss, they will receive a prompt message to guide the registration.But the ease of use made registration a lot less difficult, and even many early adopters took the initiative to become evangelists to inform their friends around.Toss quickly seized the market through the convenience of use and the advantage of waived fees.Today, Toss app also uses transfer as its core function.As of 2018, Toss has been very stable, added payment functions but not reflected in the app, and even the entry for scanning QR code transfers is hidden.On the other hand, compared with other startups, financing is a big step, and since 2014, financing has been maintained at least once a year.Altos Ventures invested in the first seed round, and since then Altos Ventures has been deeply involved in the next five rounds of investment.Other Toss investors are also very strong. To date, Toss has invested in Bessemer Venture Partners (three rounds), Goodwater Capital (four rounds), KPCB (two rounds), Singapore GIC (two rounds), QualcommVentures (two rounds), Paypal (two rounds), and Sequoia China (two rounds).Seven financings in less than six years brought about 300 billion won (1.8 billion yuan) to Toss.It also made it the fifth unicorn in South Korea in 2018.The current Toss positioning is still not a mobile payment application, but a “personal financial management app”.The app includes transfers, bank account management, credit card management, investment management, loan management, credit management, and RV production management and related insurance.Since 19 years, Toss, which has accumulated a lot of money, has become active, acquired the third-party PG (PayGate) business of LG Telecom, applied for a securities license and an Internet banking license, and began to impact the securities industry and banking industry.The earlier application for the securities license is still under discussion with the financial authorities, and the Internet bank Toss Bank, which began to prepare in June 2019, is operating the alliance Toss Bank Consortium (including investment companies, banks, and unicorn rookie Zipbang, Musinsa, etc.)With the support of, has obtained a preliminary license on December 13, 2019, and will soon become the third Internet bank in South Korea.At present, Toss’ business structure has been clearly divided into five modules: Toss Career, Toss Securities, Toss Insurance, Toss Payment and Toss Bank.Toss, which has not shown its intention to go public, may have more plans to achieve in the future.Woowa Brothers was founded: 2011 Listed time: 2018 Corporate valuation: US $ 2.6 billion To be exact, Wooowa Brothers, Korea’s sixth unicorn company, is no longer a unicorn.With the signing of the Woowa Brothers and Germany’s Delivery Hero contract on December 13, 2019, the largest M & A deal in the South Korean Internet industry has finally come to an end, and Woowa Brothers has officially separated from its unicorn status.Woowa Brothers founder Jin Fengjin was born in 1976. He loves fine arts. He has been engaged in design work after graduating from the interior design major of Seoul National University of Art. Even after becoming the CEO of Woowa Brothers, he still claims to be “design for business work” on his homepage.division”.In the ten years before Woowa Brothers was founded, in addition to doing design work in the IT industry, Jin Fengjin also had two failed entrepreneurial experiences.The first handmade furniture project in 2008 also carried 300 million won (about 2.4 million yuan) on its back.But failure did not obliterate his pursuit of entrepreneurship.Jin Fengjin, a graduate student in graduate school in 2010, planned several app projects, one of which was a “mobile version of the flyer.”After being recognized by Bon Angels, an investment company founded by former boss Zhang Binggui of Neowiz, Jin Fengjin quickly started the project with relatives and colleagues of Italian Investment.Jin Fengjin, who has more than ten years of design experience, is responsible for UI / UX, and his brother Jin Guangxiu is responsible for development as a Co-founder.In this way, the project was launched in the cafe.Without fame and resources, he can only go to the streets every day to collect leaflets, take them back, scan and upload the input information.After collecting 50,000 flyers in this way, the “Takeaway Ethnicity” App was launched.Later, the “Takeaway Nation” app with better visual experience developed rapidly. In March 2011, it registered as a corporate company and in July it received Bon Angels 300 million won (about 2.4 million yuan) in seed round financing.The annual growth rate of more than 70% was quickly recognized by investors from various countries.Including IMM Investment in Korea, Stonebridge Ventures, Naver, CyberAgent Capital in Japan, GIC in Singapore, Altos Ventures in the United States, Goldman Sacs PIA, Sequoia Capital, and High Capital Capital in China.Among them, Gaocheng Capital invested twice.In the past 9 years, the “take-away nation” has invested approximately 500 billion won (approximately 600 million yuan), of which the investment company shares accounted for a total of 87%, and the management team accounted for 13%.In 2019, Delivery Hero from Germany, Delivery Hero, focused its attention on the “takeaway nation.”Finally, 87% of all investment institutions were acquired at a valuation of $ 4 billion, and 13% of the shares held by the Woowa Bros management team were replaced with shares of the DH Group.Among them, Jin Fengjin, who has the most shares, also became the largest individual shareholder of DH Group.The acquisition of DH allowed all investors to exit smoothly, especially Bon Angels, who initially invested in the seed round, with a 300 million investment and a recovery of 300 billion won.But the “takeaway nation” management team did not leave the scene.DH handed over 11 countries and regions throughout the Asia Pacific region to the Jin Fengjin team.The DH Group and the Jin Fengjin team set up a Asia-Pacific joint venture (JV) “Woowa DH Asia” in Singapore with a 50:50 equity ratio to manage services in 11 countries and regions in Asia.Image source: VentureSquareDH Group originally owned Yogiyo (33.5%) and Baedaltong (10.8%) with the second and third largest market share in Korea.Add 55.7% of the “takeaway nation.”The Korean Internet takeaway industry has been almost monopolized by the DH Group.But in fact, the competition in the takeaway circuit will not end here. For many years, the operation model of Internet takeout in Korea has been very single, and the degree of integration with the industry is also very limited.Other Internet giants, including Coupang and Kakao, have also begun to take over the takeaway business, and there may be a new round of slaughter in the future.In addition to the five unicorns, another one that is difficult to ignore is the Kakao Group.Kakaotalk, which launched service in 2010, only four years later, had not yet had time to become a unicorn, and quickly merged with Daum, the second largest listed company on the portal site in South Korea, to join the group.(The combined valuation is about US $ 2 billion, and Tencent is currently the fourth largest shareholder.) The decade before 2019 is a new era brought by the mobile Internet to the Korean Internet industry.Although the proportion of South Korean Internet’s Web end is still very large, the opportunities brought by the mobile Internet have also allowed returnees, serial entrepreneurs, local grassroots, and cross-border entrepreneurs to continue to take advantage of the giants such as Naver, Daum, EbayHere comes the story of a new counterattack in the Red Sea industry.EDIT | 云 晞 @ 36 氪 出 图 | Pexels.

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