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S. Korea's venture investment hits record high in 2015

All News 16:52 January 19, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's venture-related investments reached an all-time high in 2015, fueled by a spike in the number of promising start-up companies and more funds in the market, official data showed Tuesday.

Investments in venture companies totaled 2.08 trillion won (US$1.72 billion) last year, a 27.2 percent surge from just under 1.64 trillion won a year earlier, according to the data by the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA).

The total surpasses the previous record of 2.02 trillion won in investments poured into start-up firms during the 2000 venture boom.

The data also showed that the total size of venture funds created during the one-year period stood at over 2.62 trillion won, up 1.6 percent from the previous year.

"Greater interest in information technology like FinTec and Internet of Things, and the general abundance of funds in the market contributed to more money reaching firms," a market watcher said.

According to the data, venture capitalists generated revenue of 1.02 trillion won in 2015 by disposing of their stakes in startups, up 30.7 percent from 782.1 billion a year earlier.

The average rate of return on investment by 25 venture funds that discontinued operations after recouping their funds stood at a healthy 7.48 percent, up from the 7 percent return rate tallied in 2014.

The SMBA, meanwhile, said it plans to attract more funding from pension funds, mutual aid associations and even foreign investors in the new year so more cash can reach venture companies. It predicted total venture related investment should hover around 2 trillion won in 2016.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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