Business

Ed Drake

$1 billion Seoul startup fund to include blockchain companies

A $1 billion investment fund for companies in Seoul, South Korea, will include prospective investments in blockchain and fintech companies, according to reports.

The fund has been committed by the government in Seoul, South Korea’s capital, through the Seoul Innovation Growth Fund, designed to encourage entrepreneurship within the city, CoinDesk Korea reported. The fund was launched back in 2018, and aims to invest in firms which are unable to secure seed funding.

The fund intends to invest over $19 million in 2019, spread across five different investment segments: Smart City, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, rehabilitation support, cultural content and startup support.

According to reports, blockchain firms will likely be included within the scope of Fourth Industrial Revolution and Smart City budgets, in addition to those that may be eligible to secure funding through the startup support budget.

The news is another boost for Korea’s burgeoning blockchain sector. Home to one of the most active cryptocurrency economies in the world, Korea still lags behind other jurisdictions in terms of blockchain startup funding.

The government noted that the current average startup funding of $1.1 million in Korea should be increased in line with other major blockchain centers, with the average in Silicon Valley standing at $6.5 million and $7 million for startups in London.

With the specific remit to invest in blockchain and other future-facing businesses, the Seoul Innovation Growth Fund is expected to go some way towards achieving these aims.

Jo In-dong, head of economic policy in the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said investment of this kind would be pivotal to future corporate growth in the city.

“Innovative start-up investment will be the cornerstone of corporate growth…in our society,” Jo said, according to the news outlet.

Seoul announced its intention to develop ‘smart city’ systems on blockchain back in October 2018, with the city’s mayor Park Won-soon outlining plans to spend $108 million on developing blockchain technologies to improve city administration over the next five years.

Combined with the smart city investment, the funding from the Seoul Innovation Growth Fund will provide even further support to those pioneering blockchain technologies in Seoul.

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