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“I think Korean companies are at a great risk of falling behind.”. Regulations are another challenge. South Korean laws would entirely or partially block about 70 percent of the world’s top 100 startups by investment size from bringing their services to the country, according to joint research by Google Campus Seoul and the Asan Nanum Foundation. Those include giants Airbnb, Uber, and China’s Ant Financial father of the bride cufflinks amazon. In February, top South Korean mobile messaging operator Kakao Corp bought Luxi for $25 million, but it remains stymied by carpooling regulations, and has yet to launch amid fierce protests from taxi drivers..
One protesting taxi driver set himself on fire and died last week, and unionised drivers say they plan a huge rally this week father of the bride cufflinks amazon. Kakao said it pushed back the launch schedule of its carpool service in the wake of the suicide. South Korea’s transport ministry declined to comment. Regulations also prohibit venture capital funds from investing in financial, real estate, accommodation and restaurant sectors in South Korea. The government has proposed a new law to lift those restrictions, but a senior government official acknowledged it would be neither easy nor quick..
“The bottom line is that we have to move toward innovation, but it takes a lot of time and is a difficult process to mediate existing interests,” the government official at the Ministry of SMEs and Startups told Reuters father of the bride cufflinks amazon. “Realistically, we can’t simply ignore existing interests. There’s no clear answer.”. He declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. Many Korean ventures are focused on applications that would only apply locally, making them a hard sell for global companies, a Samsung Electronics executive told Reuters, asking not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to media..
Since 2016, Samsung Electronics has acquired minority stakes in nine startups, only one based in South Korea, according to corporate research firm CEO Score. Hyundai Motor has invested a total 85 billion won ($75.11 million) worth of minority stakes in 15 foreign startups over the last three years, compared to 28 billion won spent on five local ventures over the same period, CEO Score said. San Francisco-based venture fund 500 Startups, one of the early investors in Grab, said it had looked at Korean ride-sharing firms for a possible investment, but decided against it because of legal restrictions father of the bride cufflinks amazon. “The regulatory environment hasn’t been favourable to the investors like us,” Jeffrey Lim, who heads 500 Startups’s Korea office, told Reuters..
There were, however, Korean industries offering interesting opportunities, such as pop music, online games, and cosmetics, Lim said. 500 Startups has invested 6.5 billion won in 30 South Korean firms since 2015, including radio app Spoon which is now available in Southeast Asia and Japan. Other established foreign rivals have also backed South Korean start-ups despite the challenges. Japan’s Softbank has invested in more than 20 tech companies in South Korea since 2012, according to venture capital data provider CB Insights, including a $2 billion stake in online retailer Coupang in November father of the bride cufflinks amazon.