Asia Digest: S Korea's Upstage raises $72m funding; SOSV closes $306m deeptech fund

Asia Digest: S Korea's Upstage raises $72m funding; SOSV closes $306m deeptech fund

Figurines with computers and smartphones are seen in front of the words "Artificial Intelligence AI" in this illustration taken, February 19, 2024. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

South Korean AI startup Upstage has secured $72 million in its Series B funding round while SOSV announced raising $306m for its latest venture fund.

S Korean AI startup Upstage raises $72m Series B

South Korea-based AI startup Upstage has raised 100 billion won (about $72 million) in its Series B funding round, Bloomberg reported.

The round was backed by a host of investors including SK Networks, KT Corp, Korea Development Bank, Shinhan Venture Investment, and SBVA.

SBVA was the anchor investor in Upstage’s Series A round in 2021, which raised $27 million in total.

Headquartered in Seoul, Upstage enables companies to easily adopt AI solutions that standardise and automate their key tasks. It was founded in 2020 by King Seong-Hoon, Lee Hal-Seok, and Park Eun-Jung.

The company claims that within just eight months of its establishment, it recorded $7.6 million in sales, helping several clients successfully adopt AI across myriad sectors such as finance, education, and distribution.

The company said it now plans to expand into overseas markets starting with the US.

SOSV secures $306m for latest venture fund

US-based venture capital firm SOSV, which is known for its startup development programmes such as Chinaccelerator, has announced raising a total of $306 million for its latest venture fund.

SOSV V secured commitments from corporates, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors, and private family offices around the world, according to the announcement.

The fund, which is the firm’s largest vehicle to date, focuses on deep tech startups in human and planetary health, with an emphasis on decarbonisation and re-industrialisation.

SOSV invests starting at pre-seed, when companies join its HAX and IndieBio development programmes, and continues through series seed, A, and later stages, resulting in about 200 investments per year.

In Southeast Asia, its investments include Singapore startups Boost Capital (fintech), Kalagato (data analytics), BizBaz (Saas), Green Li-ion (cleantech), Dastgyr (e-commerce), and Allozymes (biotechnology), among others.

Edited by: Padma Priya

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