Eyeing the fast-growing pet industry, Korean venture capital firms have been expanding their investments in developers and manufacturers of products related to pet technology this year.
Pet technology refers to technologies or products designed to help owners care for their pets through apps, e-commerce and online services.
Accelerator New Paradigm Investment, a subsidiary of venture capital firm TS Investment, invested in blockchain-based pet identification app BlockPet last month, according to an official on Tuesday. The official, who requested anonymity, told The Korea Herald that the size of the investment could not be revealed.
BlockPet, developed by a startup of the same name, helps owners register their pets’ identification on a big data platform, without a collar or microchip tag, which allows them to accumulate data about their pets.
According to Park Jae-hyun, CEO of New Paradigm Investment, the firm’s pet identification technology is expected to develop further into an all-around service platform, with more than 30 percent of Korean households now owning pets.
In June, Fitpet, a developer of pet health care kits, raised 5.3 billion won ($4.4 million) through series A funding.
The investors included venture capital firm LB Investment, which previously made a series of lucrative investments in popular boy band BTS’ agency Big Hit Entertainment. Samsung Venture Investment, Samsung Electronics’ venture capital affiliate, and Spring Camp, the nation’s largest internet service provider Naver’s venture capital firm, were also among the investors.
Spring Camp said in July that it had also invested in pet-tech-related startup Pet People, the developer of an app to match pet sitters with pets in their local areas.
Data released by the state-run Korea Rural Economic Institute last month showed that Korea’s pet-related market is projected to grow to 5.8 trillion won in 2020 from 1.8 trillion won in 2015.
Analysts warned of the need to tread cautiously regarding investments, as the market is considered relatively new to Korean investors, but they also highlighted the robust growth projections surrounding the market.
“The local pet-related business market is expected to maintain annual growth of 10 percent and reach 6 trillion won by 2027,” said Hwang Won-kyung, a researcher at KB Financial Group, using a different set of data.
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)