South Korea’s 500 largest companies by assets have expanded their investments in startups with high technologies since 2015, latest data showed Wednesday.
Local corporate tracker CEOScore said their investments in startups increased more than 10-fold from 118.2 billion won ($98 million) in 2015 to 1.2 trillion won last year, with the total amount reaching 2.7 trillion won over the past five years.
By sector, large investments were made in shared mobility, green cars, artificial intelligence, big data, autonomous driving, biotech and financial technologies.
By company, Hyundai Motor made the largest investment of 715.7 billion won during the five years. It has invested in fields such as eco-friendly cars, mobility, autonomous driving and connectivity.
It was followed by Naver and SK Corp., which invested 309.2 billion won and 264.8 billion won, respectively. Other firms in the top 10 list included Kia Motors, SK Telecom, GS Home Shopping, Hyundai Mobis, Yuhan Corp., LG Electronics and NHN.
Ola, an Indian ride-hailing service company, received the largest investment. Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors invested a total of 348.7 billion won in the firm. Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab also received 193.1 billion won from the two automakers and SK Corp.
Samsung Electronics invested 40.8 billion won in 12 companies during the years, which was relatively small considering it is the No. 1 business group in Korea. This is because the investments were made in startups through mergers and acquisitions, including the acquisition of managerial rights, or through the creation of funds, the corporate tracker said.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org