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Venture capitalists pour out record amounts of money in 2015

All News 09:18 March 03, 2016

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- Venture capitalists poured a record amount of money into tech startups and others last year on the back of hopes for lucrative returns from public offerings and cheap capital available, data showed Thursday.

New investment by venture capitalists stood at 2.09 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) last year, compared with the previous year's 1.64 trillion won, according to the Korea Venture Capital Association.

Fresh investments by venture capital firms have been on a sharp rise for the past few years, reaching 1.6 trillion won in 2014 and 1.39 trillion won in 2013, the data showed.

The number of start-ups that received venture capital investment rose to 1,045 in 2015 from 901 in 2014 and 755 in 2013.

The surge in fresh investment is attributed to the stellar returns of fledging companies that went public last year, which prodded investors to pour more money into venture firms.

Buoyed by easy money and relatively strong performance, the country's tech-laden KOSDAQ market remained bullish last year, hitting the highest in seven years, with its market cap surpassing 200 trillion won for the first time since its launch in 1996.

Also, venture capitalists took advantage of cheaper borrowing costs, as the country's policy rate hit a record low of 1.5 percent.

"Last year, a slew of investment funds were created, and investors' interest in start-up companies increased sharply," said an official at the association.


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