Korea Development Bank (KDB) is supporting investments in venture businesses through its market-type venture investment platform called ‘KDB NextRound’. KDB Next Round was started in August 2016 with a motto of ‘Providing opportunities to attract investments to venture businesses and finding good investment destinations for investors by participating in a variety of venture ecosystems’.
The state-run Korea Development Bank will regularly gather investors three times a week to set up a venue to listen to business description activities by promising startups and venture firms hoping to attract investment. KDB explains that it is the only and largest platform in S. Korea that regularly holds IRs for innovative venture companies.
Last year, IR sessions were held every three days at an auditorium on the first floor of the KDB headquarter in Yeouido, Seoul, with themes set for Tuesday’s activating startup round, Wednesday’s startup round and Friday’s growth-venture round. “This is the only platform in South Korea that can get investment opportunities and the latest industrial and technology trends,” a KDB official said. “We are contributing to revitalizing and a virtuous circle of innovative venture ecosystems such as implementing the most IRs in South Korea and supporting large-scale investments.” The state-run KDB held a cumulative 215 next round until the end of last year. Seventy-eight companies carried out IRs, of which 130 attracted 709.7 billion won (about US$596.7 million) in investment. The number of companies attracting investment has been on a steady rise to 22 in 2016, 44 in 2017 and 64 in 2018.
Overseas special rounds were also held to meet demand from various markets. The move is aimed at supporting Korean companies’ overseas expansion and investment by holding a joint round of global venture capital (VC). In May last year, a round linked to China’s Shenzhen Capital was held in China, and a round inviting the US KKR in April and Japan’s KDDI in November.
The state-run KDB plans to further strengthen its next round of global and regional innovation this year. It is also planning to create an additional Global Partnership Fund (GPF) No. 4 to select leading overseas VCs as its management companies and to bring advanced venture ecosystems into Korea. It will hold a global round once a half-yearly in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Shanghai, China, to provide IR opportunities in front of overseas investors of promising Korean companies. The state-run KDB will expand the hosting of the KDB Next Round to boost regional innovation. The company plans to expand the number of hosting events from four times last year to 10 to spread the ecosystem of startups and ventures to regions. It will also set up and operate an open innovation fund targeting traditional local medium-sized companies. It will also introduce a new type of round such as ‘Beyond IR’ for a qualitative growth of events. Besides corporate IR, the event offers opportunities for enhancing insight and cultural exchanges in innovative venture investments through lectures by successful startups, seminars on attracting investment and panel discussions among experts.