- Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners confident of turning South Korean technology startups into ‘unicorns’
Dillon Seo, Country Manager for South Korea (SK) at Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP), spoke ambitiously of turning local technology startups into ‘unicorns’ — businesses that attain valuations in excess of $1bn (€890m). Speaking to The Korea Economic Daily, Seo said SK was home to the “largest pool of highly innovative ICT venture companies in Asia”, and that the route to unicorn status was growth beyond SK’s relatively small market. “We look forward to supporting their global expansion”, he said. Seo, one of the founders at virtual reality (VR) technology specialist Oculus, now owned by Facebook, claimed SK was “on the brink of entering a ‘second venture boom’, backed by the Korean government’s investment in the fourth industrial revolution”. He reckoned that the government’s strategic investment in VR, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data will “soon pay off”, and was an influencing factor on why DTCP recently set up its Asia office in the capital Seoul (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #89). DTCP’s office in Seoul is positioned as an investment hub for Asia, not just SK, and draws on the unit’s second “venture and growth” fund (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #85). Fund II focus areas include enterprise cloud and network infrastructure specialists (such as US vendors Guardicore and Pipedrive — early Fund II investments highlighted in 2018), as well as 5G and Internet of Things, digital enterprise, cybersecurity, AI, and marketing technology. In June 2019, SK Telecom — a longstanding technology partner of DT — reportedly invested in Fund II.