New venture capital investment in the biomedical industry rose more than 200 percent in the first quarter of this year from the same period of 2017.
According to the Korean Venture Capital Association (KVCA), new investments from venture capitalists rose 59.6 to 634.8 billion won in the first three months from 397.4 billion won ($371.9 million) a year earlier.
New investments into the bio and medical field stood at 148.6 billion won ($139.1 million) during the period, registering a 202.6 percent growth on the year-on-year comparison.
The amount of new investments was 50.3 billion won in January, 46 billion won in February, and 52.3 billion won in March.
Of all industries, the biomedical sector showed the largest increase in the3 growth rate of new investment year on year. It also placed second regarding new investment on the volume basis, after the ICT service sector.
Following the biomedical sector in new investments were ICT with 131.9 percent (164.9 billion won), ICT manufacturing with 123.1 percent (54 billion won), chemicals and materials with 120.4 percent (22.7 billion won), and others with 57.5 percent (18.6 billion won).
Investments also rose 23.1 percent to 55.5 billion won in the electricity, machinery and equipment sector, 2.7 percent to 77.1 billion won in distribution and service. New investment fell 16.1 percent to 33.8 billion won in the games industry, and 23.1 percent to 48.9 billion won in film, performance and music disc sector, according to the data.
In 2017, new investments in the biomedical sector stood at 378.8 billion won, marking the third largest amount following ICT service’s 515.9 billion won and distribution and service’s 418.7 billion won.
Over the past five years, new investment in biomedical sector peaked in 2016, topping the list with 468.6 billion won and surpassing the ICT service sector’s 406.2 billion won.
The biomedical sector attracted 146.3 billion won of venture capitalists’ investments in 2013, 292.8 billion won in 2014, and 317 billion won in 2015.
“VC investments in biotechnology companies have been relatively active over the period,” an industry expert said. “Now the investors have to rack their brains how to retrieve their money.”
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