Naver to invest USD 118M in European startup fund K-Fund 1

Naver, South Korea’s largest online portal operator, decided to inject an additional 100 million Euros (USD 118 million) into K-Fund 1, which is managed by Korelya Capital, an investment firm set up by Fleur Pellerin (the former Deputy Finance Minister for Digital Innovation) and Antoine Dresch (a financial specialist), in order to foster the growth of European tech startups.

Naver and Korelya Capital plan to expand their investment activities into the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, and Northern Europe. Naver and Line have invested a total of 100 million Euros in September last year, 50 million Euros each. Through this fund, Naver has developed their understanding of the European market and has invested into startups that have competitive technology and high potential.

Over the past year, Naver and Korelya Capital have invested in competitive technology and service companies, such as the high-end audio equipment manufacturing company, Devialet, an artificial intelligence voice recognition platform called Snips, the recruitment platform Jobteaser, and UX data analytic solutions company, AB Tasty.

Through this partnership with Korelya Capital, Naver will find and help companies with high potential in both technology and business. In order to do this, Naver is also working to find ways to generate synergy, not only through financial investment but also by providing the know-how of Naver and Line in service development and experience in the Asian markets.

In addition, Naver and Korelya Capital will focus on promoting technology exchanges between startups in Korea and Europe, as well as supporting Korean startups to expand into European markets.

Fleur Pellerin, CEO of Korelya Capital, stated, “This investment will enable K-Fund 1 to find more diverse and competitive startups and support their growth, as well as add various partnerships that can help Naver, Korelya Capital, and startups”.

Fleur Pellerin is a former senior official of the French government, and her former positions include Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Deputy Finance Minister for Digital Innovation, and Minister of Culture. She led the formation of the startup policy initiative represented as French Tech. In August 2016, she resigned from all her government positions and founded Korelya Capital in order to support foreign companies’ investment into IT companies in France and the EU.

Naver and Line have also set up a startup partner space called Space Green at Station F, which is the world’s largest startup incubation center in Paris, in order to support the growth of startups from Europe, Korea, Japan and other countries.

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This article, entitled “Naver to invest USD 118M in European startup fund K-Fund 1”, was written in Korean by Yohan So of Platum, edited by AllTechAsia.

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