Korean startups with sales above $76 million number close to 870

2023.11.28 13:57:01 | 2023.11.28 17:53:24

[Courtesy of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups]이미지 확대

[Courtesy of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups]

There are 869 South Korean startups with sales exceeding 100 billion won ($76.8 million) as of the end of 2022, according to the latest government survey. The startups had a workforce totaling 32 million employees and total sales of 228 trillion won.

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups on Monday said the number was a record high with 130 firms added, or a jump of 17.6 percent, compared with a year ago.

TEMC Co., a Seoul-based manufacturer of specialty gas for semiconductors, was a newcomer on the list of the so-called 100 Billion Company. The gas maker’s sales totaled 88.3 billion won in 2021 and surged to 346.7 billion won in 2022. Another newcomer was TeamFresh Co., a provider of cold chain platform services, which earned sales of 195 billion won last year.

Of the 127,581 registered startups in the country, those with sales above 100 billion won as of the previous fiscal year will make it onto the 100 Billion Company list, which has expanded further every year from 68 in 2004 to 739 in 2021.

The workforce hired by the startups was 320,000 employees, up 6.8 percent from the previous year. The figure outnumbered the combined employee count of the country’s top four conglomerates, including Samsung Group, Hyundai Motor Group, LG Group, and SK Group.

The firms’ combined sales amounted to 229 trillion won, marking an increase of 33 trillion won in a year. Their sales growth rate was 16.5 percent, higher compared to larger conglomerates and SMEs.

The average number of intellectual properties held by each of the startups was 104.2. Compared with ordinary SMEs, the startups tended to put more emphasis on research and development. Their ratio of R&D to sales was 2.9 percent, four times as high as that of SMEs, which stood at 0.7 percent.

By Kim Dong-eun and Han Yubin

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