SparkLabs Group, a network of accelerators and funds, is launching SparkLabs Ventures, a $50m early-stage venture capital fund (Series A & B) primarily focused on South Korea.
The fund, which will not be limited to graduates of SparkLabs accelerator in Seoul, will focus its investments on companies that have potential to expand abroad to different markets and have the ability to take advantage of the global reach of the SparkLabs’ network.
It will be led by Brian Kang, who was a founding member of Samsung’s first venture capital arm and later led Korea Venture Fund, which was Korea’s first VC fund of funds. Kang has over 20 years of experience as an investment professional and several years as an entrepreneur and operator. He was CEO & Chairman of the Board at Gravity, a Softbank affliated gaming company, and then went on to launch his own gaming startup.
Kang is joined by Chris Koh, Co-founder of Coupang, an ecommerce player in South Korea which received $1 billion investment from Softbank in 2015.
Venture (part-time) partners include:
– Rob Das, Co-founder and former Chief Architect of Splunk, and
– John Suh, CEO of Legalzoom.
The advisory board includes:
– Mike Honda, who served in the U.S. Congress from 2001 to 2017 (represented Silicon Valley in the 17th congressional district from 2013 to 2017);
– David Lee, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Refactor Capital; and
– Nadiem Makarim, Co-founder and CEO of Go-Jek, which recently raised $1.2 billion from Tencent and others.