Digital New Deal startups grab the world’s attention


The initiative mainly focuses on the development of cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, as future engines of growth. The main objective of the initiative is to strengthen the digital capacities of the country which, according to the government, will accelerate the digital transformation in many sectors.

Digital transformation is now becoming a necessity, as the pandemic has transformed the way people shop, work, learn and socialize. By implementing the Digital New Deal, the country aims to advance key technologies needed to meet growing demand in almost all economic sectors.

Among other things, the ministry is building the so-called “Data Dam” to collect and integrate fragmented public data, especially from the health and education sectors that have a narrow impact on people’s lives. By creating an integrated data platform, the ministry intends to collect useful data that will be used to develop AI technology for education and health.

The ministry is also pursuing an aggressive investment strategy by encouraging startups armed with innovative ideas and technologies. A select group of promising startups are offered government assistance to improve their research and development (R&D) capabilities and bring the resulting products and services to a larger market, both at home and abroad.

SoftBank finances Korean technology

Foreign investors are also taking note of the technological prowess and potential of Korean startups.

Global investors have set their sights on leading promising tech companies including Riiid, Lunit, Toss Lab, 4DREPLAY, Class101 and Infomark.

SoftBank Group, which has aggressively invested in startups, recognized their promising technologies, including AI-based learning, cancer diagnostic solutions and realistic 4-dimensional (4D) image technology. Last May, Riiid, a leading startup in AI education solutions, managed to get a huge $ 175 million Vision Fund investment 2.

Coupled with SoftBank’s investment, the ministry’s support for the Digital New Deal should help these startups further expand their growth potential nationally and globally.

As part of the Digital New Deal, the ministry engaged these startups in the initiative’s key projects to transform them into future engines of the country’s economy. These projects include the AI-based precision diagnostic platform “Dr. Answer” and content powered by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Korea’s future technology leaders

Among the promising startups, AI-based education tech startup Riiid is developing AI technology that analyzes student data and then delivers an optimal learning program tailored to each student’s level on mobile apps and web platforms.

Riiid is also one of the ministry’s startups “LAC-Korea Deep Tech Exchange Program. ”In September last year, the Born2Global Center, which is part of the ministry, launched the program in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) lab. The program aims to encourage startups innovative within Latin America and connect them with Korean startups. As part of the program, Riiid is currently partnering with from Mexico “Maestrik” online English learning platform to develop a common AI-based English learning mobile application.

Lunit, Toss Lab and 4DREPLAY also received investments from SoftBank as well as other global investors.

Lunit specializes in AI-based medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. By comparing and analyzing chest x-rays of cancer and non-cancer patients, the AI ​​solution detects high-risk abnormal tissue with high accuracy. The company is currently working on the development of new AI software that can predict a cancer patient’s response to immunotherapy and even suggest a better treatment based on cancer tissue analysis.

Toss Lab is a creator of the “JANDI” enterprise collaboration platform that streamlines workflow between employees through features such as messaging, real-time file sharing and virtual conferencing. The technology now serves more than 2 million people around the world.

Finally, the 4DREPLAY offers a real-time multi-view video streaming service “4DLive”. Immersive multimedia technology allows users to freely view sports videos, movies and TV shows from any angle they choose. The company is currently providing its 4DLive solution to SoftBank’s 5G mobile communications services.

The ministry said, “Thanks to the Digital New Deal initiative, our promising startups, which are attracting global attention, will see their technology and skills grow significantly in the global market. We will spare no effort to support them so that they can become an “international unicorn company.”

For more information on the Korean Digital New Deal, visit

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SOURCE Born2Global Center

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