KK Fund is a Singapore-based VC fund that invests in seed-stage startups across South East Asia. They wanted to focus on seed-stage startups in Korea looking to expand into the South East Asian market. Therefore they partnered with KVIC (Korea Venture Investment Corp), a Korean governmental agency managing sovereign fund for investing in venture capital funds to promote the venture ecosystem in Korea. KK Fund and KVIC launched the Meet your Match Korea initiative in April of 2020. They were able to link up promising startups to potential investors. In addition, KK Fund has been actively working with many Korean institutions besides KVIC. Some of these institutions include KDB, Korea SMEs and Startups Agency, and KOTRA to identify and accelerate Korean startups’ Southeast Asia market entry. 

They gathered not only Korean investors but also global investors to join the initiative to help startups in Korea get the funding they need. This is KK Fund’s way of playing a role in helping the regional Venture Capital ecosystem to remain active.

Meet your Match

Meet Your Match spans 7 countries including Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, and South Korea. The event brought in over 700 startups from these countries and over 140 global top-tier investors.

Meet your Match Korea

Meet your Match Korea

Meet your Match Korea

Startups in Korea have been having trouble raising the funds they need due to travel limits. Therefore, they now have to get creative to survive the coronavirus crisis. If they don’t it could halt their activity during their critical early-stage funding period. Meet your Match Korea offered a great opportunity for startups in Korea to meet investors online across Southeast Asia without traveling abroad. The event has gotten a lot of positive feedback not only from the startups but from the investors as well. 

Meet your Match Korea was only for startups in Korea with operations in Southeast Asia. As well as, startups in Korea that intended to expand into the Southeast Asian market.

Venture capitalists are paying close attention to tech startups in Korea. Especially those that are looking to expand their target market. Therefore investors were glad to see an initiative that gave them the opportunity to meet a large number of diverse startups in Korea within a short period of time. 85% of the investors that participated in Meet your Match were able to find startups that they were interested in.

COVID-19 in Korea has been a wakeup call for many startups to think bigger. The potential market in Southeast Asia is an untapped goldmine for many startups in Korea. However, meeting in person with prospective investors across Southeast Asia has not been an option due to travel restrictions and nationwide lockdowns. Therefore, Meet your Match Korea offered a great opportunity to address many of the funding issues startups in Korea might have. 66% of the startups were able to successfully match with investors. In addition, 86% of the startups stated that they would join the event again. 

Entering the Singapore Market 

Singapore is one of the top startup hubs in Southeast Asia. As well as one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. However there are many things that are undeveloped such as the banking, logistics, insurance, and healthcare system just to name a few. There is a lot of room for improvement and growth. Therefore, there is a great opportunity for startups in Korea to penetrate the Singapore market. South Korea has some of the latest cutting-edge technologies and is always looking for the next innovative product or service. 

Kuan Hsu, General Partner of KK Fund, stressed that while it is not easy for foreign startups to enter the Southeast Asian market, there are tried and true tactics that will help to ensure a smooth market entry.

“Startups in Korea have good expertise and experience, eSports, and biotech. The key to enter Southeast Asia is therefore to understand the consumer behavior, to execute locally, and also to find investors in Southeast Asia who will help you navigate the local landscape,” said Kuan Hsu, General Partner at KK Fund.

In order to penetrate the Southeast Asian market, you need to have the right partner. This partner needs to have a different skillset from you and different networks. Not only does KK Fund invest in entrepreneurs but they are able to give deep insights and advice so they can work with the startups. Furthermore, KK Fund has already signed up over 70 investors from around the world.

Some of the investors include…

KK FundHow to Apply for the Next Meet your Match Korea?

When submitting your application, you will be able to attach your pitch deck and select which investor you would like to connect with. If an investor is interested to learn more about a startup, an online meeting over Zoom will be scheduled between the startup and the investor. 

All profiles and applications of the startups will be screened by KVIC and KK Fund prior to being shared with prospective investors. Visit KK Fund’s website to stay up to date on their next Meet your Match Korea event.