2021 has been a breakthrough year for the Korean startup ecosystem despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Korean Chat API startup Sendbird raised $100 million in Series C funding with a valuation of $1.05 billion. Sendbird is now one of the 12 unicorn startups based out of South Korea. South Korea’s largest e-commerce company, Coupang, raised around $4.6 billion in the biggest US initial public offering (IPO) this year.
In the first quarter of 2021, at least 34 companies (many of which were tech startups), have applied to the Korea Exchange (KRX) for IPOs. South Korea wants to grow its tech ecosystem and digital economy by making it easier for startups from abroad to expand in the country. The South Korean government aims to attract global startups to set up operations in South Korea.