S Korea: Applied Ventures & KVIC form joint $40m investment fund

Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, Inc., has formed an investment fund with the Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC). According to an SEC filing, the initial corpus of funds amounts to $40 million for the new fund, Applied Ventures Innovation Fund I.

The joint Applied Ventures Innovation Fund will invest in promising Korean startups across a broad range of established and emerging industries including semiconductor, display, robotics, healthcare, energy storage and more. The fund was launched on 23 June with a workshop for startup companies and the venture capital community.

“Applied Materials has been a part of the Korean technology industry for 30 years and we share a long history of enabling technology innovation with our customers,” said Om Nalamasu, president of Applied Ventures and Chief Technology Officer of Applied Materials.

“With this new Innovation Fund, we are partnering with the Korean government to invest in the next wave of entrepreneurs to spur new breakthroughs that can advance technology throughout the world.”

According to a media release, South Korea currently accounts for the highest number of Applied Ventures’ investments outside of the US. Launching the Innovation Fund together with KVIC is intended to help further advance the capabilities of high-tech startups and early-stage companies.

“Our goal at Applied Ventures is to seek out innovative technologies and new ideas that can enable advances in semiconductors and displays, as well as open up new markets,” said Tony Chao, general manager and senior investment director of Applied Ventures.

“Korea’s outstanding talent, R&D intensity and manufacturing capability provide a fertile ground for startups. Applied Ventures has been actively investing in Korea for several years and we are excited to build on this foundation by establishing the Innovation Fund with KVIC.”

Its startup sector is said to be on the verge of internationalisation, with the startup ecosystem augmented by large-scale government backing. However, it faces a host of challenges given the ecosytem’s relative youth.

Among its various sectors, South Korea’s biotechnology and healthcare sector are showing significant growth. In 2015, healthcare startups raised $20.6 million, while in 2016 this grew to $59.7 million. This also comes with government support aimed at developing the country as an international healthcare technology hub.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.