Top 9 Up and Coming Fintech Startups in South Korea to Watch in 2020

Top 9 Up and Coming Fintech Startups in South Korea to Watch in 2020

by May 15, 2020
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Fintech has been named one of the top priorities for South Korea this year. The government has said it will go all out to nurture the fintech industry in 2020 and has set aside a budget of 19.8 billion won (US$16 million) to support the sector, up 96.1% from 10.1 billion won last year.

Since the beginning of 2020, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) has launched and unveiled several initiative aimed at boosting fintech. These include the FSC’s Fintech Plan, which seeks, among other things, to improve biometric verification regulations, establish a more robust digital finance user protection system, develop responses to cyber risks, nurture new data-related industries, and enhance the use of big data in the financial sector.

The FSC also established of a help desk in Singapore to support South Korean fintech startups’ expansion into Southeast Asia, and there are plans to open a platform in the second quarter of 2020 for fintech firms to search for useful information needed for their overseas expansion.

As South Korea gears up to take its fintech industry to the next level, we look today at nine fintech startups to watch for in 2020. These startups have either recently launched promising, innovative solutions, or raised funding from prominent investors.

Finda

Founded in 2015, Finda is the developer of an online financial products comparison platform.

The platform collects the information of more than 17,000 financial products and recommend the most suitable products within 1 minute. It also provides financial calculation services for housing loans, monthly savings, loan repayment purposes, mortgage, personal loans, peer-to-peer (P2P) loans and investments.

In July 2019, the startup raised 4.5 billion won (US$3.8 million) in a Series A funding round to enhance its new paperless, big data-powered loan platform.

Launched last year, the loan platform allows users of the mobile app to know the maximum amount of loans they are entitled to and the lowest loan interest possible within a few seconds, before applying. The app also helps users take out loans, according to the conditions.

Bomapp

Founded in 2015, Bomapp is an insutech startup providing an online platform that lets users compare and sign up for various types of insurance.

The platform comes with several other features including direct help from agents and emergency call outs. Users can monitor their insurance policies, compare insurance products, and receive personalized product recommendations. The app also provides insurance planners’ personal profile and career information to allow customers to choose their own planner.

Bomapp raised 2 billion won (US$1.7 million) from Lotte Group in April 2019, which it said it would use to develop new products, advance product recommending algorithm and automate insurance claims.

Currently, about 15,000 claims are filed on the Bomapp platform each month.

Korea Credit Data

Founded in 2016, Korea Credit Data provides a business management software called CashNote, serving mall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Korea and Japan.

CashNote started with sales management service but later evolved to include general information analysis, tax invoice management, marketing, and other B2B solutions. The app can be integrated with KakaoTalk.

CashNote is used by more than 500,000 businesses in South Korea, and in 2019 alone, the company secured more than 350,000 new customers, with its cumulative managed sales reaching 150 trillion won (US$130 billion) since its launch in 2017.

Korea Credit Data raised an undisclosed amount of investment earlier this year from Quad Asset Management, Yukyung PSG Asset Management and Shinhan Investment.

Wadiz

Launched in 2012, Wadiz is the largest crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs and startups in South Korea with a 87% domestic market share, as of end June 2019. Wadiz offers both rewards-based crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding.

Wadiz raised 31 billion won (US$26.2 million) in a Series C funding round in May 2019, bringing the total amount of investment raised so far to 140 billion won (US$118 million). The company said it will use the investment to research data-based AI services, push for new online and offline businesses, and upgrade services. It is planning for an initial public offering (IPO) in 2020.

Terafunding

Incorporated in 2014, Terafunding is a real estate focused P2P lending platform in South Korea connecting borrowers and investors. It claims to be the first real estate-focused P2P lender in South Korea, growing at a rate of 16% per month since its establishment in 2015.

Terafunding raised US$18 million in a Series B funding round in September 2019 which it said it would use to acquire talent from the real estate, finance, and IT sectors, and accelerate its advancement on project screening systems and risk management processes.

As of July 31, 2019, Terafunding had originated more than US$700 Million in cumulative basis, and fully repaid around US$500 Million, making it the market leader in the South Korean P2P financing industry.

Iconloop

Founded in 2015, Iconloop is a blockchain startup that specializes in the implementation and design of blockchain tech. It is the developer of Loopchain, its proprietary blockchain engine.

Iconloop has also launched Chain ID, a blockchain joint certification service with 26 domestic securities companies, DPASS, a blockchain-based self-sovereign identity authentication service, and broof, a blockchain certificate issuance and authentication service.

Iconloop raised US$8.3 million in a Series A funding round in October 2019, which it said it would use to launch its blockchain-based digital identity authentication service, my-ID, in 2020. It also looks to expand its supporting partner network, my-ID Alliance, which currently has 27 organizations and companies from various industries.

Concat

Concat is a new insurtech startup and the developer of the mobile app Bople, Bople helps users analyze insurance coverage through various variables including death, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, loss, and surgery, and counts more than 300 million customer subscriptions.

This year, Concat launched two new insurance products aimed at bringing in innovation in the insurance sector.

The first product, called BH Planner, is a smart app specifically designed for insurance agents to help them with their business activities. BH Planner acts as an insurance sales partner for agents, providing them with insurance guarantee analysis, product recommendation by the customer, and customer management services.

The second product, called Dento, is specialized for dental insurance. Dento is a comprehensive solution that combines dental practice management, dental check-up diary, and dental insurance services. Users can fit in brush habit calendars, dental clinic records, and personalized dental insurance analysis reports using Dento.

WireBarley

Established in 2016, WireBarley is a money transfer startup providing quick, safe and cheap cross-border transaction services to 20 countries and with over 100 corridors.

The WireBarley platform allows users to record, verify and clear cross-regional transfer data transmitted using proprietary algorithmic technologies. WireBarley also has a forex (FX) and corporate treasury center in Hong Kong.

Over 100,000 customers have signed up for the WireBarley mobile app and web services. The company has so far helped customers make over 220,000 transactions for an accumulated transaction volume of US$150 million.

WireBarley now wants to aggressively expand its presence in Asia Pacific (APAC) with the launch of inbound and outbound remittance services in the US.

Coinplug

Founded in 2013, Coinplug is a bitcoin startup that operates a crypto exchange, mobile wallet and bitcoin pre-paid card services available at convenient stores in the country.

Coinplug works with a wide range of financial institutions including Shinhan Bank, Hyundai Card, KB Card and KB Kookmin Bank, and engages with a number of government entities including the Korea Internet Services Agency (KISA) and Korea Post, and with the Busan City Blockchain De-regulatory Zone.

Coinplug raised 7.5 billion won (US$6.4 million) in October 2019 from venture arms of major local financial institutions, which it said it would use the new financing on decentralized identification technologies.



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