South Korea's Largest Venture Firm Backs First Blockchain Startup
Korea Investment Partners (KIP), the largest venture capital firm in South Korea, is investing in its first blockchain startup.
Announced Tuesday, KIP is investing an undisclosed amount of money into Temco, a
blockchain-based startup that aims to revolutionize supply chain management systems for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) using blockchain technology. Specifically, according to Temco's website, vendors can track the movements of products from distribution to eventual consumption on a blockchain, and then share the data as well.
"Temco is more than prepared to disrupt contemporary supply chain process," Jong Hyun Kim, the fintech investment board member of KIP, stated in the official press release, adding:
"Not only does Temco exceed existing business solutions, but also is a prime example of the potential of blockchain technology."
KIP is widely regarded for investing in major billion-dollar Korean enterprises such as the country's largest web search engine, Naver, and Kakao, the operator of the country's dominant mobile messaging app Kakao Talk.
The news further signals a thawing of some resistance to the still-nascent blockchain industry, after domestic financial regulators in South Korea laid down strict restrictions for the sale and other operations of cryptocurrency about a year ago. Since then, there has been considerable renewed support for friendlier policies toward blockchain.
For instance, in early August, the governor of Jeju province, Won Hee-ryong, proposed allowing South Korea's Jeju Islands to become a so-called "free zone" for
crypto startups that want to conduct initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Plus last month, the South Korean government was reported to be investing over $880 million in 2019 to boost technological innovation in the country, with a portion of that fund going into developing blockchain technology for "data management security and boosting the sharing economy."