The Korean government said on Nov. 2 that it will inject a combined 30 trillion won (US$26.90 billion) in the next three years to foster innovative startups and venture firms.
Under the comprehensive plan endorsed by a ministerial level meeting chaired by Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, the government will focus on expanding money supply for fledgling enterprises and creating a generally venture-friendly environment.
“The venture capital market in Korea has been in the doldrums since the IT boom ended in the mid-2000s,” a government official said. “The latest plan is aimed at encouraging talented young people to start their own business and supporting their growth.”
It will first create a 10 trillion-won fund in the coming three years to help innovative venture firms get necessary investment from the outset.
Funded by state policy lenders, such as the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and the Korea Technology Finance Corp., a 20 trillion-won lending program will also be available for startups.
The government will pick 20 best companies every year and grant them up to 4.5 billion won each, and assist them in growing into “unicorns,” referring to private companies valued at US$1 billion or more.
The government, in addition, will reduce taxes on profits gained from stock options in startups in order to attract talented people to the sector.
By Alex Lee and newswires (email@example.com