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POSCO to Create Venture Capital, ‘The First IMP Fund’

2020/09/15

l POSCO to focus investment in venture companies recognized through IMP, POSCO’s incubation program for startups and venture companies
l The fund is to be operated by POSTECH Holdings, a startup accelerator
l Venture companies will be provided with POSTECH’s technology, research equipment, and offices while promising venture companies will receive mid- to long-term support

On September 7, POSCO established the first ‘IMP (Idea Market Place) Fund,’ Korea’s first venture capital to be organized by a startup accelerator.

The first IMP fund is a dedicated fund established for venture companies selected through Idea Market Place, POSCO’s unique incubating program intended to find and nurture venture companies. The fund is worth 5.1 billion KRW in total.

The fund is operated and managed by POSTECH Holdings, Korea’s top startup accelerator that holds excellent capabilities in investing and nurturing venture companies as well as in attracting subsequent investments. Since POSTECH Holdings already participates in the selection, nurturing, and mentoring phase of the Idea Market Place program, its role of fund management is set to allow better focus on the growth of venture companies.

The venture companies will be provided with mid- to long-term support for future growth, including POSTECH’s technology and research equipment and access to ‘Change Up Ground,’ an incubator facility in Seoul. Additionally, promising venture companies will be incorporated into POSCO Group to foster them as new growth businesses of the company.

The first IMP fund is the first case under the ‘Venture Investment Act,’ implemented since August, allowing startup accelerators to invest in venture companies to increase autonomous investment and expand its ecosystem. A startup accelerator formed with a venture capital instead of an angel fund (capital from individuals) facilitates the participation of corporate investors. With the expanded autonomy of investment, a more diverse venture investment portfolio is expected as well.

POSCO has been operating the ‘Idea Market Place’ since 2011. For the past ten years, the company has invested 17.6 billion KRW in a total of 102 companies, and the program has been recognized as one of the best incubation programs to foster venture companies in Korea. Previously, venture companies were first selected and fostered before investment decisions were decided. However, starting this year, the system has been improved to preempt promising venture companies and focus on their growth by deciding investment from the selection stage.

In July, POSCO opened the first public-private partnership incubator facility named ‘Change Up Ground’ in TIPS Town, Seoul, and has been taking the lead in establishing startup infrastructure.

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