SparkLabs sets up $50m KDB-anchored fund

The Korean accelerator operator has formed a $50m early-stage fund with Korea Development Bank and steel pipe maker Seah as anchor investors.

South Korea-based accelerator network SparkLabs has launched a $50m fund called SparkLabs Ventures and has secured state-owned financial services firm Korea Development Bank (KDB) as an anchor investor, TechCrunch reported today.

KDB is one of two anchor investors for the fund, the other being Korea-based steel pipe producer Seah.

SparkLabs Ventures will focus on Korea-based startups developing consumer services, enterprise, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, hardware and financial technology, and will invest between $1m and $3m.

Brian Kang, who was managing director of Samsung Ventures America – part of Korea-headquartered electronics producer Samsung’s corporate venturing network – for almost 10 years to 2013, is managing partner of SparkLabs Ventures.

Kang told Tech in Asia the fund will invest at series A and B stage, and that it will consider linking up with startups that have gone through its accelerator. It will have a secondary focus on Southeast Asia.

“It also is a natural progression from our accelerators in the market,” Kang said. “We can become one of the investors for those graduates [of SparkLab’s accelerator programs] that already raised a seed round, but are looking for a series A.”

The fund’s other managing partner is Chris Koh, a co-founder and former vice-president of Korea-based mobile commerce marketplace Coupang.

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