A total amount of 6.5 trillion won ($5.5 billion) was invested in startups and small businesses in South Korea last year, according to newly launched private sector-led venture capital council, a significantly higher figure than that announced earlier by the government.
According to data released by a private venture capital council led by Korea Venture Capital Association and seven other organizations including Korea Technology Finance Corporation, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, on Tuesday, the amount of new venture investment stood at 6.5 trillion won last year, more than 3 trillion won higher than the tally announced earlier by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. The gap comes as the latest total includes 2.5 trillion won worth of funds by new technology investment associations and companies.
Data showed that of total venture investment, 4.7 trillion won was invested in non-listed small- and mid-sized enterprises and startups and 1.6 trillion won in listed enterprises and overseas companies. A total 163.4 billion won worth of investment in venture private equity funds that are difficult to classify as non-listed or listed was excluded from the total.
The latest data shows Korea’s venture investment accounts for 0.36 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), higher than 0.19 percent based on previous government data and China’s 0.26 percent. Venture investment in the United States took up 0.64 percent of its GDP while Israel 1.75 percent.
Until now, venture investment tally was announced officially by the government based on venture capital statistics based on the country’s support for small and medium enterprise establishment act and venture business act. However, there have been growing calls for a more comprehensive figure amid recent emergence of new investment groups.
The government and venture industry, aware of the need of a more comprehensive statistics, launched a private-led venture investment council participated by eight organizations including Korea Venture Capital Association, Korea Technology Finance Corporation, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, the Credit Finance Association, Financial Supervisory Service, Agricultural Policy Insurance & Finance Service, Korea Development Bank, and Industrial Bank of Korea. The council plans to continue to announce bi-annual venture investment figures and share industry data.
By Kim Gang-rae and Lee Eun-joo
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