[THE INVESTOR] Woowa Brothers, the operator of Korea’s leading food delivery platform Baedal Minjok, announced on Dec. 21 that it has secured additional investments of US$320 million from global investors, making it the latest Korean “unicorn” -- startups with an enterprise value of over US$1 billion.
The investments were led by its current investor private equity firm Hillhouse Capital, with equity participation by US-based Sequoia Capital and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, the company said.
With a valuation of 3 trillion won (US$2.66 billion), this round of investment allows Woowa Brothers to join the unicorn club. Earlier this month, Viva Republica, which is behind payment service Toss, reached the milestone.
Since the launch of Baedal Minjok in 2010, Woowa Brothers has won a series of large investments, including 40 billion won from Goldman Sachs in 2014, 57 billion won from Hillhouse Capital in 2016, and 35 billion won from Naver. With the latest round, the total accumulated investments have grown to 506 billion won.
The company said it will continue to put efforts for global expansion and new businesses such as the development of autonomous robots.
Woowa Brothers has been investing in artificial intelligence and autonomous driving technology to develop delivery robot and plans to make its debut in Vietnam by launching its food delivery app service in the first half of 2019.
“The funding by globally prominent investors carries much significance,” said Woowa Brothers Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Oh Se-yoon. “We will continue to strive to not only deliver greater value to both restaurant owners and users but also focus on moving forward with our new businesses.”
Baedal Minjok’s monthly number of orders reached more than 20 million in July, growing from 5 million in early 2015. The number of monthly active users also grew from 3 million to 8 million during the same period.
Backed by Baedal Minjok’s growth, Woowa Brothers has recorded more than a 90 percent annual revenue growth rate recently.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)