South Korean AI-based pharma firm Oncocross secures $14m Series B

Source: Laurynas Mereckas/Unsplash

South Korean drug developer Oncocross has raised 16.5 billion won ($14 million) in a Series B funding round led by Smilegate Investment and GNTech Venture Capital.

Other investors including KDB Capital, Hana Financial Investment, Wooshin Venture Investment, Hanvit Investment, NAU IB Captial, Magna Investment, ID Ventures, KB Securities, SM Sino Technology Investment, Vision Creator, and eBest Investment & Securities participated in the round.

Both Oncocross and Smilegate Investment confirmed the development to DealStreetAsia.

Founded in 2015, Oncocross is an artificial intelligence-based pharmaceutical company specialising in drug discovery and cancer drug development. Its ONCO AI platform helps pharmaceutical companies increase the success rate of drug development at lower costs and in shorter time periods.

The company is now in discussions with domestic and Chinese strategic investors regarding a 10-20 billion won ($8.4-17 million)  pre-IPO round, AVCJ website reported on Thursday.

Smilegate Investment is the corporate venture capital arm of South Korean game developer Smilegate, the creator of Crossfire — an online first-person shooter (FPS) available in 80 countries with 650 million registered players.

Established in 1999 as MVP Venture Capital, Smilegate Investment has operated 50 funds and invested in about 400 companies. The firm specialises in M&As, buyouts, and early- and mezzanine-stage investments. In May, DealStreetAsia reported that Smilegate Investment is planning to launch a second, country-focused fund in Vietnam this year after backing four Vietnamese startups through its $10-million debut vehicle.

GN Tech Venture, the other lead investor, is a corporate investment company based in South Korea. The firm seeks to invest in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors, with a focus on South Korea.

In South Korea, drugmaker SK Biopharmaceuticals priced its IPO in June at the top of its indicative range, aiming to raise 959 billion won ($794 million) in South Korea’s biggest IPO in three years.

Last August, South Korean clinical-stage biotech company D&D Pharmatech announced that it has raised $137 million in a Series B round led by US-based investment firm Octave Life Sciences.

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.