GS seeks to expand business ecosystem with venture investments Korean conglomerate launches CVC arm dedicated to domestic investments

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2022-01-19 08:14:38

이 기사는 2022년 01월 19일 08:12 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korean conglomerate GS Group has established a corporate venture capital (CVC) arm dedicated to investments in domestic startups, the first such move among large companies in the country.

The move is in line with GS Group chairman Huh Tae-soo’s emphasis on open innovation. Since Huh took the reins in 2020, the conglomerate has expanded collaborations with startups and venture capital firms in areas such as green technology, mobility and biotech, with a focus on his “New to Big” initiative.

The composition of GS affiliates contributing to the newly-created CVC arm’s first fund, which is expected to be ready for investment later this year, will likely provide a hint into where the money will go.

There is another CVC unit operated by the conglomerate, GS Futures, which was established in Silicon Valley in 2020 and focuses on overseas investment opportunities for future growth.

GS Futures manages a $155 million fund contributed by 10 companies including GS Holdings, GS Energy, GS Retail and GS Engineering & Construction.

GS Futures especially focuses on environmentally friendly investments, with its fund investing in a fund created by IndieBio, a life sciences accelerator program run by venture capital firm SOSV. It also participated in a $4 million funding round for a US-based eco-friendly materials startup last month.

GS Group has continued investments in new business areas. Most recently, it formed a consortium with CBC Group to acquire South Korea’s No. 1 botox maker Hugel, which marked the conglomerate’s first investment in the biotech industry. GS Caltex, GS Energy, GS Retail and other affiliates also made equity investments in platform and quick commerce companies such as Kakao Mobility, Mesh Korea and Yogiyo.

The conglomerate has also expanded exposure to new business opportunities and innovative startups indirectly by committing to funds managed by accelerators and venture capital firms, including LSK Investment and CBC Group. (Reporting by Kwang-ho Lee)
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