SparkLabs Group, which was founded in 2012 with a Seoul-based accelerator dedicated to boosting Korea’s startup ecosystem, launched a new VC called SparkLabs Ventures, with a USD 50 million fund for early-stage startups that want to expand globally.
SparkLabs Ventures announced the start of its investment activities at an opening ceremony held at SparkPlus in Yeoksamdong, Gangnamgu, on September 27. Over 50 people attended the event, including employees, advisors, and the press.
Since its establishment in 2012, SparkLabs has operated two accelerator programs each year. Including the current batch, which is its tenth, they have invested in over 80 early stage startups. The follow-on funding rate of their portfolio companies is around 79%, and over 20 companies, including Memebox, Knowre, and Genoplan, are growing fast, as well as expanding into global markets.
SparkLabs Ventures was established to discover and invest into early stage startups based in Asia by leveraging the know-how accumulated through running several accelerator programs. This fund will also provide investment opportunities for startups that have the potential to grow fast and actively expand into foreign markets.
SparkLabs Ventures’ first fund, SparkLabs Ventures Ignition Fund, is aiming for a total fund size of USD 50 million and will mainly invest in early stage (Series-A) startups based in Korea and South East Asia.
Mike Honda, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 17th District, joined as one of the advisors to the fund. Honda has actively supported startups for a long time, and will be involved in a variety of investment activities at SparkLabs Ventures, such as helping with global expansion for portfolio companies.
This fund is led by Brian Kang, a founding member of Samsung Ventures, and Chris Koh, co-founder of Korea’s largest e-commerce platform, Coupang. Other advisors include David Lee of Refactor Capital, and Nadiem Makarim, founder of GO-JEK.
Brian Kang, CEO of SparkLabs Ventures, said, “Since its establishment in 2012, SparkLabs has been expanding rapidly, launching global seed investment funds, IoT, and Fintech accelerator programs, SparkLabs Beijing and SparkLabs Taiwan. Through the launch of SparkLabs Ventures, we aim to discover early stage startups and bridge the gap between promising startups and global markets by offering a global network and support”.
(Top photo from 58pic.com)
This article, entitled “SparkLabs launches USD $50M fund for promising early-stage startups in South Korea and South-East Asia”, was written in Korean by Minjung Kim of Platum, edited by AllTechAsia.