South Korean holding company Shinhan Financial Group has launched a new startup program within Shinhan Future’s Lab, its recently expanded center for fintech entrepreneurs.
According to Shinhan Chairman Cho Yong-byoung, the group plans to increase investment in startups as well as offer a “full ecosystem service” through its program, which aims to improve the ecosystem and create successful, high-valued startups.
As reported by The Korea Times, 40 startups have so far entered the program and will be offered tips on how to commercialize their innovations, sell their companies, and launch an initial public offering (IPO) after achieving sufficient growth.
Shinhan expects to invest 25 billion won (US$22 million) into the scale-up program over the next five years, as part of the holding group’s wider plans to set aside more funds in support of 6,000 fintech startups, from 1.7 trillion won to 2.1 trillion won.
Shinhan Future’s Lab has already fostered 112 startups that have received 8.3 billion won in financial support since the center was established in 2015. Some 650 startups applied for the new program, from which 40 were chosen to experiment and develop their business concepts through the use of blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), big data analysis, and other new technologies.
The lab is also slated to hold a job fair for 40 startups in June to connect them with professionals, while Shinhan Bank will seek to acquire fintech startups developing technologies and services within the center or in Vietnam.
South Korea’s regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), has expressed hope that the myriad venture programs will result in many more new companies and help drive financial innovation.
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